LAHORE: On Feb 8, the Lahore High Court (LHC) set a hearing date for appeals in the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The development comes after a delay of five and a half years.
Justices Sadaqat Ali Khan and Mirza Waqas Rauf were appointed to a special division bench by Chief Justice of the LHC Muhammad Ameer Bhatti. The bench will hear eight appeals pertaining to this case on Feb 9. Asif Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the late Gen. (ret.) Pervez Musharraf, the five accused, and the police officials who were found guilty of crimes received notices.
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Who was charged:
Musharraf was charged in the case, and an ongoing warrant was out for his permanent arrest. However, the appeal against him will probably be rejected after his passing. Aitzaz, Sher Zaman, and Hasnain, three of the five accused, will testify in court; Abdul Rasheed is being held in Adiala Jail. Rafaqaat, the fifth defendant, is missing. Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, two police officers involved in the case, are free on bail. Both were given a 17-year prison term and a Rs. 1-million fine.
Why it matters:
Benazir Bhutto was killed on December 27, 2007, after speaking at an election rally in Rawalpindi’s famed Liaquat Bagh. She was reportedly slain by a suicide bomber who was 15 years old. The first female premier of a Muslim nation was assassinated fifteen years ago, and despite numerous national and international investigations, her trial is still a mystery. Her killers have not yet been brought to justice.
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