Defence lawyer fails to appear in Benazir Bhutto case

August 27th, 2011 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad, Aug 27 (IANS) A Pakistani court that was supposed to conduct hearing in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case Saturday could not do so because the defence lawyer failed to appear in court as he had gone into a religious retreat during Ramadan.

The hearing was being held at the Adyala Jail in Rawalpindi, the Online news agency said.

The defence lawyer, however, did not appear before the court as he was observing “itikaf” — a pious Islamic practice consisting of a period of retreat in a mosque, most common during the month of Ramadan — for the last 10 days.

Seven accused in the case were to be indicted Saturday but the case had to be adjourned till Sep 10, the report said.

Bhutto (1953-2007) was the first and till date the only woman prime minister of Pakistan. She served two terms - 1988-1990 and 1993-1996.

She was removed in 1996 as prime minister on charges of corruption, and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after an understanding with then president Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. She was assassinated in December 2007, after a Pakistan Peoples Party rally in Rawalpindi, just two weeks before the scheduled general election of 2008.

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