ATC declares Musharaff absconder, former CPO,SP get 17 years Jail

APP52-31 RAWALPINDI: August 31 - A Pakistani anti-terrorism court official reads the verdict in ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto's murder at Adiyala Jail in Rawalpindi. APP photo by Abid Zia

RAWALPINDI, Aug 31(APP); The Anti Terrorism Court on Thursday
declared former President Pervaiz Musharaff absconder and ordered
seizing of all his properties while former CPO Saud Aziz and former SP Rawal
Town Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17 years imprisonment in
Benazir Bhutto murder case.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 500,000 each on both convicts.
The former CPO and SP were arrested from the court premises.
Five suspects, including Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah
and Abdul Rashid were acquitted on murder charges.
ATC judge Asghar Khan on Wednesday had reserved verdict in the case
following completion of arguments by the prosecutor, and counsels of
the accused.
The trial of five accused had started in February 2008 after the police arrested
them in connection with the murder. However, when PPP formed its government in
2008, the investigation was handed over to FIA.
In 2010, the team included ex-president Musharraf, DIG Saud Aziz and SSP
Khurram Shahzad as accused in the case.
The trial resumed when Saud and Shahzad were arrested.
The ATC earlier this year separated the trial of Musharraf, as counsel for the
prosecution and the accused were of the view that since the former military ruler was
absconding, the continuation of the trial of other accused was not possible.
There were 121 witnesses in the case while statements of only 68 people were
The judge hearing the case was changed eight times.
In 2013, FIA’s special prosecutor Ch Zulifqar was killed by unknown assailants,
who are still at large.
Saud Aziz, and Khurram Shahzad were released on bail, in 2011.
The two time former Prime Minister Mohtramma Benazir Bhutto was
assassinated in a suicide attack on December 27,in 2007 after addressing a public
meeting at Liaquat Bagh here.