A trial court in Rawalpindi on Saturday exonerated yet another suspect who was arrested for his role in the murder of former minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti.
The accused, Ziaur Rehman, withdrew his bail plea from the court of Special Judge anti-terrorism court II, Rana Masood Akhtar, after an SHO Industrial Area police said he was no longer wanted in the case due to lack of evidence.
Rehman, along with former suspect Abid Malik, was suspected by the family of the deceased minister in the case. The family cited business disputes as their reason for suspicion. Police had already exonerated Malik from the case in February, after finding no evidence against him.
Earlier, when police had arrested Malik from Lahore Airport, Zia managed to escape arrest. Similarly, last June, the trial court released a man arrested who was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder case after the police could not bring any evidence against him.
Hafiz Nazar Muhammad was arrested last June for making threatening calls to the minorities MPA from Sargodha, but police did not manage to find any evidence against him.
At the scene of Bhatti’s murder in 2011, Islamabad police had recovered a leaflet left there, presumably by the attackers, who claimed they killed the minorities minister for raising his voice against blasphemy laws in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.
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