RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) challenged in the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on Monday the verdict of the anti-terrorism court in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.
On August 31, the court hearing the former prime minister’s assassination case for over nine years cleared five accused in the case, sentenced two former police officials to jail and declared former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf an absconder.
Speaking to the media outside the court, PPP’s Latif Khosa, who was also a counsel in the case, said Benazir had repeatedly stated that Musharraf was not providing her security.
Khosa, accompanied by senior party leaders Sherry Rehman and Nayyar Bukhari, among others, claimed Musharraf did not even let Benazir keep her own private security.
“She had said that Musharraf would be directly responsible in case anything happened to her,” reiterated Khosa.
He also claimed that Musharraf got Saud Aziz, one of the two police officials punished in the case, posted as the Rawalpindi city police officer to ensure his role in the assassination. He accused Aziz of ordering the removal of a security cordon around Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007 so Benazir could be easily killed.
Khosa explained that they have filed three appeals: one challenges the order separating Musharraf’s trial from the case, the other is against the ‘lenient’ sentences against the police officers and the last against the suspected militants exonerated in the case.
On September 11, the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench approved for hearing appeals submitted by the two policemen convicted in the case.
Aziz and Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each for their negligence in investigating the case properly. Shahzad was SP Rawal Town at the time of the incident.