RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: The anti-terrorism Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi on Thursday announced its verdict in a High-Profile Murder Case involving the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was martyred in an assassination attempt on December 7, 2007 in Rawalpindi.
As per the judgement announced by the ATC Judge Muhammad Asghar Khan at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, former City Police Officer (CPO) Saud Aziz and former Superintendent of Police (SP) Khurram Shahzad were awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment each for spoiling the evidence.
In addition, both convicts were also awarded seven years imprisonment each for criminal negligence.
Meanwhile, both the Police Officials were taken into custody from the courtroom.
The Court in its verdict acquitted other accused Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rashid, and Aitzaz Shah, and order their immediate release.
The ATC also ordered to confiscate property of former President Pervez Musharraf, and declared him as proclaimed offender.
It took almost 10 years when finally the verdict of Benazir Bhutto Murder Case.
It is worth mentioning here that senior journalist and incumbent President of National Press Club (NPC) Shakeel Anjum also wrote a book in 2008 titled “Who assassinated Benazir Bhutto” in which he explained circumstances in which the former prime minister was killed and mysteries surrounding her murder, and then subsequent investigation in her murder case.
The judgement of Benazir Murder Case had been reserved by the ATC Judge on Wednesday (August 30, 2017) after both the prosecution and defence completed their arguments in the Court.
Khawaja Imtiaz and Chaudhry Azhar appeared before the Court as Federally Investigation Agency’s (FIA) prosecutors while Malik Jawad Khalid, Malik Rafique and Naseer Tanoli where the Counsels of accused.
Seven persons including two police officers former CPO Saud Aziz and former SP Khurram Shahzad, and five persons allegedly belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) namely Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rashid, Rafaqat Hussain and Aitzaz Shah were made accused in the Case.
Since former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf wasn’t in Pakistan; therefore, the Court excluded him from the trial, declaring him proclaimed offender while former CPO Saud Aziz and former SP Khurram Shahzad received bail in 2011.
During the Case, 68 witnesses appeared before the Judge on behalf of the prosecution and recorded their testimonies whereas eight challans were presented – three by the police and five by the FIA.
In 2013, the FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar was murdered in Islamabad by unknown culprits.
The former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 7, 2007 when she was leaving Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi after addressing a public gathering.
Her association was followed by a suicide blast which left 22 PPP workers martyred and dozens others injured.
Following the association, Benazir Murder Case was registered in City Police Station, Rawalpindi.
Initially, police began investigation into the Case but later when the PPP government arrived in the Center in 2008, the Case was handed over to the FIA.