The head of Rawalpindi’s emergency services reiterated on Saturday that his staff was asked by a senior police officer to hose down the site of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on December 27, 2007.
The district emergency officer Rescue 1122, Dr Abdul Rehman, testified before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) that Khurram Shahzad, the superintendent of police Rawal Town, had asked him to get washed the crime scene outside Liaquat Bagh as enough incriminating material had been collected by investigators.
Dr Rehman, whose staff reached the crime scene within seven minutes of the gun and bomb attack, said that fire crew of Rescue 1122 hosed down the site on the instruction of Khurram Shahzad.
Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, Special Public Prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), told The Express Tribune that Rehman’s statement was endorsed by Ghulam Muhammad Naz, the assistant fire officer, Rawal Town Municipal Administration.
Quoting the witness, the prosecutor said he reached the blast site in five minutes and was directed by the SP to wash the crime scene after an hour of the incident.
Special Judge ATC-I Chaudhry Habibur Rehman put off the hearing till January 22, for the statement of Dr Musadaq Khan, former principal of the Rawalpindi Medical College, who had attended Benazir Bhutto when she was taken to the hospital after the attack.
The investigations carried out by Scotland Yard, United Nations and FIA had raised serious question about immediate washing of the crime scene and likely loss of important evidence.
Meanwhile, Khurram Shahzad, in his statement to the investigators, had maintained that the police asked for hosing down the site only after collecting necessary evidence.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2013.