Rawalpindi, Aug 31: An anti-terrorism court here on Thursday declared former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf an absconder in the assassition of former Prime Minister Bezir Bhutto. Five others accused in the case were acquitted while two police officers were jailed for 17 years each.Judge Asghar Khan announced the verdict at Rawalpindi’s Adiyala Jail, a decade after a gun-and-bomb attack killed the charismatic Bhutto soon after her arrival in Pakistan to take part in elections. The judge ordered confiscation of Musharraf properties. Perpetual arrest warrants were issued for the former military dictator, Dawn online reported.
Musharraf declared absconder, five let off
Musharraf, who ousted then Prime Minister waz Sharif in 1999, now lives in exile in Dubai. His administration was blamed for failing to provide security to Bhutto, who was the Pakistan People’s Party chief and a two-time Prime Minister.
The five accused - Rafaqat Hussain, Husin Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid - were cleared of all charges due to lack of evidence against them, said the court. Two police officials - former Rawalpindi Central Police Office Saud Aziz and former Rawalpindi Town Superintendent Khurram Shahzad - were jailed for 17 years each for negligence vis-a-vis Bhutto’s security. They were arrested from the courtroom and were fined Rs 500,000 each. The trial of the five began in February 2008. They were suspected of having links with Taliban militants. In November 2008, a court indicted them for killing, hatching crimil conspiracy, abetting the perpetrators, using illegal explosive material and spreading terror on December 27, 2007 when Bhutto and 21 people were killed outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh when she was leaving after an election rally. (IANS)