Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case on a petition filed by the prosecution for daily hearing of the case.
The bench comprising Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa and Ali Baqir Najafi issued notices to the accused and sought records of the case from the trial court.
In the petition, the Federal Investigation Agency contended that
the adjudication in the case has been pending for five years. In the application, the prosecutor maintained that earlier this year, he had filed a similar application with the trial court to conduct hearings daily.
However, the trial court rejected the application, saying the defence lawyers in the case had maintained that it was unfeasible for them to attend proceedings daily and because the court itself was burdened with a number of other terrorism cases.
Zulfiqar Ali, representing the FIA, said the case was transferred from the Punjab police to them in 2009.
The agency had put the names of two Punjab police officers – former Rawalpindi CPO Saud Aziz and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad – in the list of accused besides former President Pervez Musharraf.
In the suicide attack on December 27, 2007, former prime minister Bhutto and 23 others lost their lives outside Liaquat National Bagh.
The FIA had included as many as 50 prosecution witnesses, only 14 of whom have recorded their statements. During the previous hearing on September 8, nine witnesses were present in court, but their statements could not be recorded in the absence of the lawyers representing the seven accused.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.
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