Pakistan’s former dictator Pervez Musharraf was on Thursday declared a fugitive by an anti-terrorism court which ordered seizure of his property and sentenced two senior police officers to 17 years in jail in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, nearly 10 years after her assassination. Bhutto, the Pakistan Peoples Party chief and a two-time prime minister, was killed along with more than 20 people in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh during an election campaign rally on December 27, 2007. She was 54.
The case was registered soon after her assassination and the trial went through many ups and down until it concluded yesterday in Rawalpindi. Judge Asghar Khan announced the verdict, declaring Musharraf a proclaimed offender and ordered seizure of his property.
Here are the people involved in the case:
Pervez Musharraf – Musharraf, who was the President of Pakistan from June 20, 2001 till August 18, 2008, has been declared a fugitive by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan. He was implicated in the assassination case in 2009 after a fresh probe by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The court today ordered seizure of all properties belonging to the former dictator.
Former Rawalpindi CPO Saud Aziz – Pakistan-based Samaa publication attributed FIA officials saying Aziz was a facilitator of the assassination because he did not provide security to Benazir Bhutto. Aziz, who was the DIG then, has been facing charges of abetting the killing of Benazir Bhutto as it was revealed that he had ordered the transfer of a superintendent of police from Bhutto’s rally to Sadiqabad. Later, the prosecution also blamed him for not performing autopsy on the deceased. The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him.
Former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad – Charges of abetting the killing of Benazir Bhutto were leveled on Shahzad. The court has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him.
TTP suspects: Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid have been acquitted over lack of evidence. They were arrested soon after the assassination and had been in jail. They had denied the charges. All accused were present at the time of announcement of trial except Musharraf. The trial of five suspects started in January 2008, while Musharraf, Aziz and Shahezad were implicated in 2009 after fresh probe by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).