Two police officers arrested in Bhutto murder case (Lead)December 22nd, 2010 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Dec 22 (IANS) Pakistani authorities Wednesday arrested two senior police officers for alleged dereliction of duty over the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, a prosecutor said.Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and suicide attack Dec 27, 2007 after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi.
A court in Rawalpindi this month issued warrants for the arrest of Saud Aziz, who was city police chief at the time of the killing, and Khurram Shahzad, another senior policeman for their “failure” to protect Bhutto, Dawn News reported.
Both police officers were accused of providing insufficient security to Bhutto and hosing down the crime scene before all the evidence was collected.
“Both of the police officers have been arrested. The court rejected their application for bail,” special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters.
Asked about the alleged refusal of post-mortem examination, Ali said: “The honourable judge rejected their application for bail and ordered their arrest because it was the state’s obligation to carry out a post-mortem.”
According to the prosecutor, the judge rejected as evidence an audio tape in which Bhutto’s husband, now President Asif Ali Zardari, apparently asked for the post-mortem not to be carried out.
The court has been adjourned until Jan 7, Ali said.
In April, a UN panel accused the government of failing to provide Benazir with adequate protection and said investigations were hampered by intelligence agencies and other officials who impeded “an unfettered search for the truth”.
At the time, the government of then military ruler Pervez Musharraf blamed the assassination on Pakistan’s former Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement.
Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009, one of the most high-profile casualties of the covert American campaign targeting Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan’s tribal belt, the report said.
Bhutto, who served two terms as prime minister, returned from exile two months before she was assassinated, to participate in general election.
Zardari led the Pakistan Peoples Party to election victory in February 2008 and is now the head of state.
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- Former Rawalpindi police officers released on bail in Benazir assassination case - Apr 08, 2011
- Pakistani court orders confiscation of Musharraf's assets - Aug 28, 2011
- Bhutto murder: New arrest warrant against Musharraf - Feb 19, 2011
- UN blasts Musharraf government for Bhutto death (Lead) - Apr 16, 2010
- Approver police officer holds three responsible for Benazir's murder - Oct 24, 2010
- Court rejects policemen's plea in Benazir's killing case - Oct 16, 2011
- Pak ATC orders arrest of two police officers in Benazir assassination case - Dec 05, 2010
- Pak ATC grants bail to two police officers in Benazir assassination case - Dec 08, 2010
- Benazir Bhutto assassination probe should have started from Musharraf: Aitzaz Ahsan - Dec 25, 2010
- Benazir murder probe: No clue about cell phones used by cop on December 27, 2007 - Jan 21, 2011
- Detained cops name ISI, MI officers in Benazir Bhutto assassination case - Dec 24, 2010
- Benazir assassination probe: Pak ATC extends remand of detained police duo - Jan 22, 2011
- Pakistan taps Interpol for Musharraf's arrest - Mar 01, 2012
Tags: adequate protection, american campaign, asif ali, baitullah mehsud, benazir bhutto, city police chief, dawn news, dereliction of duty, election rally, former prime minister, intelligence agencies, khurram, military ruler, mortem examination, pakistani authorities, special prosecutor, suicide attack, tribal belt, truth at the time, zulfiqar