UN set to begin probe into Benazir assassination

June 10th, 2009 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad, June 10 (IANS) The UN is set to begin its probe into the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto with the appointment of a former Irish policeman as the third member of a commission that has been set up to conduct the enquiry.
Peter Fitzgerald, a former deputy commissioner of the Irish National Police Force, Garda Siochana, was a member of the UN commission that probed the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Harriri, Dawn reported Wednesday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had in February announced the formation of a three-member commission headed by Chile’s UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz and including Indonesia’s former attorney general Marzuki Dar Usman.

However, it took more than three months before the third member was chosen and agreed upon by both the world body and the Pakistani government.

The commission is expected to begin its work some time next month, Dawn quoted sources as saying.

Pakistan estimates that the probe will cost Rs.200 million.

A six-member UN team that had visited Pakistan in April to lay the groundwork for the probe, had met officials of the interior ministry and law enforcing agencies.

It had also discussed the expenses to be incurred by the commission, which will probe Bhutto’s assassination Dec 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left a political rally in the adjacent garrison town of Rawalpindi.

Pakistan had July last year sought a UN probe into Bhuttto’s killing after its own investigations and one by Scotland Yard failed to make headway.

This is largely because the spot where Bhutto was killed was hosed down soon after, destroying whatever evidence that could have been gathered.

Baitullah Mehsud, who leads the Pakistani Taliban and whose writ largely runs in the ungovernable South Waziristan area along the border with Afghanistan, is one of those suspected of having a hand in Bhutto’s killing.

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