Taseer’s killer interrogated in Shahbaz Bhatti assassination case

March 5th, 2011 - 12:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Mar 5(ANI): The scope of investigations into the assassination of Pakistan’s Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti has been widened to include Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, and the personnel of Bhatti’s security escort.

Crime Investigation Department (CID) officials and members of the investigation team went to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail to question Qadri after obtaining permission from a trial court, The Express Tribune reports.

Strongly suspecting the blasphemy law controversy to be the motive behind Bhatti’s murder, investigators are looking for possible links between the two high-profile killings within two months.

However, no credible information came out from the interrogation of Qadri, and police officials maintained that he denied any knowledge of a possible broader conspiracy to target people on the basis of the blasphemy controversy.

Qadri pleaded ignorance about Bhatti’s assassination, and insisted that he had killed Taseer for alleged blasphemy.

Sources said certain clues had been found during the investigations, which led the probe team to suspect a connection. However, this was not officially verified.

Police also rounded up more suspects, including four Frontier Constabulary (FC) soldiers and a cleric of a mosque for questioning.

Police officials said thirty suspects and certain witnesses were being questioned. Gul Sher, the driver of the slain minister was also interrogated.

“His own statements did not match and they also contradicted the accounts given by eyewitnesses,” said a police official, adding that Gul Sher’s role had now become “suspicious”.

Phone call records on the mobile phone used by Bhatti was also being screened for clues, police officials said. (ANI)

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