The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday requested the Anti Terrorism Court for more time to arrest former president Pervez Musharraf, currently residing in London, in the assassination case of Benazir Bhutto.
During the course of hearing at Adiala Jail, Deputy Director FIA Khalid Rasool informed the court that the FIA had requested the Interior Ministry to approach the Foreign Ministry for the former president’s extradition.
He said that the FIA requires at least a month to extradite Musharraf. The court directed the agency to ensure his arrest on the next date of hearing.
However Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar and Chaudhry Azhar submitted an application before the court, stating that the superintendent and deputy Adiala Jail did not allow them to enter the jail for the hearing of the case.
They said that the jail authorities acted on the behest of former city police officer Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad who were accused in this case. Special Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed accepted their application and issued notices to the respondents for next date of hearing
Meanwhile, former city police officer Saud Aziz and superintendent police Khurram Shahzad were not formally indicted because the public prosecutors could not enter Adiala jail.
Earlier on February 18, the court reissued non-bailable arrest warrants for Musharraf to be sent to his London address.
The former president is allegedly involved in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto due to his failure to provide her with adequate security.
Musharraf, despite being aware of the imminent danger to Bhutto’s life, did not take the requisite security measures to prevent her assassination, according to a 57-page report submitted earlier in the court.
The FIA has submitted three charge-sheets in this case, with the first one submitted in May 2010 that held the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan responsible for Bhutto’s assassination. The second charge-sheet submitted in September 2010 held former police officials Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad responsible while the third charge sheet submitted in February held Musharraf responsible for Bhutto’s murder.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.
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