Pak Court Orders Speedy Trial In Benazir Assassination Case

ISLAMABAD (TIP): A Pakistani court today directedan anti-terrorism court to conduct daily hearings in the2007 Benazir Bhutto assassination case and to concludethe trial within three months.The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore high courtissued the order after prosecutors from the FederalInvestigation Agency complained that the trial had notbeen completed though five years had lapsed sinceBhutto’s assassination.The two-judge bench heard a petition filed by the FIA,which asked it to direct the anti-terrorism court ofJudge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman to conduct dailyhearings.

The FIA said Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack onDecember 27, 2007 and it was regrettable that the highprofilecase was in court even after the lapse of fiveyears.Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali contendedthat under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, the antiterrorismcourt is bound to hold daily hearings of casesfor their speedy disposal.

Ali informed the Lahore High Court that the lawyersfor all the accused were using delaying tactics, whichwas evident from the fact that no other cases from 2007were still pending in the anti-terrorism court.Bhutto was killed by a suicide attacker shortly afteraddressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December2007.Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman is also conductingthe trial of seven men, including Lashkar-e-Taibacommander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who have beencharged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terrorattacks.That trial too has been hit by numerous delays.

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