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ATC reserved judgement in Benazir Bhutto murder case

31 August, 2017

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RAWALPINDI: After the defence and prosecution completed their arguments on Wednesday, Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Muhammad Asghar Khan reserved judgement in Benazir Bhutto murder case and would issue a detailed verdict.

During Wednesday's hearing, Naseer Tanoli, the counsel for accused Aitzaz Shah, gave his arguments and said that investigation by the FIA was full of flaws. Giving arguments, the counsel said that Aitzaz Shah was declared a suicide attacker while the administration of the seminary - from where he got training - was not interrogated. Tanoli said that Ismail who was declared an operator in the investigation and had taped Baitullah Mehsud's call had fled the court. FIA prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar in his arguments said the attack was carried out from outside the vehicle and not from inside, so why interrogate those who were in the vehicle. He said there were flaws in the dates of arrest of the accused on part of police and not the FIA.

Meanwhile, after the hearing, talking to media, Chaudhry Azhar said that the police had submitted four challans while three had been submitted by the FIA. He said that according to the anti-terrorist clause, it was the responsibility of the investigation officer to cordon off the crime scene. He said the FIR was registered at 8:20pm, while the crime scene had been washed two hours before registering of the FIR.

He said there was sufficient evidence against the accused, adding that Saud Aziz was a facilitator of the crime, as he did not provide security to Benazir.

The prosecutor said there were 121 witnesses in the case, while the statements of only 68 people were recorded, excluding the statement of driver Abdul Rehman. The counsel of Saud Aziz, Raja Ghanium, talking to the media said that conducting post-mortem of Benazir Bhutto was not the responsibility of former CPO, adding that Asif Ali Zardari had not allowed him to carry out the post-mortem.

He said that prosecution had not told the court why the crime scene had been washed. Saud had told Benazir not to come out of the vehicle, he added.

FIA prosecutor Khawaja Imtiaz, talking to the media, said that former president Pervez Musharraf was excluded from the trial by the court as he was not present in the country.

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