Bhutto’s widower acquitted in Karachi murder case

March 24th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad, March 24 (Xinhua) A court in southern Pakistan’s port city of Karachi Monday acquitted the widower of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a murder case. Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari was charged with the murder of a high court judge, Justice Nizam Ahmed, and his lawyer-son Nadim Ahmed. They were shot dead in an attack June 10, 1996, outside their house in Karachi, the News Network International news agency reported.

The government’s lawyer Nimatullah Randhawa had told the court during the last hearing March 19 that no witness had recorded statement against Zardari and that the case against Zardari was baseless.

The judge of the district and sessions court had reserved the judgment March 19 and announced the verdict Monday.

Zardari’s lawyer Shadat Awan said the prosecution failed to produce any evidence against his client and that the case was filed on political grounds.

He said the case was heard for almost 12 years but no formal charges were framed against his client.

The killings were attributed to a dispute over a prized plot in Karachi as Justice Nizam Ahmed had opposed its commercialisation and illegal allotment.

Javed Akhtar Pirzada, supposedly a front man for Asif Ali Zardari, purchased the plot. Pirzada is also an accused in the case.

Shadat Awan had filed a petition in the court, seeking acquittal of his client, since the prosecution failed to produce any proof of his involvement in the murder case.

Seven cases of corruption have already been dropped against Zardari under a reconciliation ordinance issued by President Pervez Musharraf in October last year, which had also paved the way for Bhutto’s return from exile.

Shadat Awan said his client was still facing a case of alleged narcotics smuggling and the murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, the slain brother of Benazir Bhutto.

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