Benazir’s assassination case: Witness says crime scene hosed down on SP orders

Published: January 20, 2013

Benazir Bhutto during her last address at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, shortly before her assassination. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: 

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. 

Reader Comments (10)

  • Saeed
    Jan 20, 2013 - 11:08AM

    Cui bono ? ( To whose benefit )Recommend

  • Mika
    Jan 20, 2013 - 11:24AM

    Five years later and the investigation is stuck on hosing.

    In other news BBC removed the OBL killing details from Benazir Interview to David Frost before her death.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan KHAN
    Jan 20, 2013 - 12:27PM

    ” had maintained that the police asked for hosing down the site only after collecting necessary evidence”

    Is this evidence.still available? Is it enough to solve the mystery of assassination??

    Recommend

  • Amir
    Jan 20, 2013 - 12:44PM

    So ask SP who ordered to hose it down, then ask the person he was ordered by, and so on….where will all road leads to? the person who benefited the most…now we live in a land of conspiracy!!!

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jan 20, 2013 - 12:55PM

    Pakistan is making a comedy into a farce when it was crystal clear who wanted her out of the way and issued her veiled and direct threats to leave the poll arena. She was being harassed and threatened to refrain from campaigning and awakening the masses. The threats were so direct and obvious that Benazir was forced to write a confidential note naming those who wanted her eliminated. In Jurisprudence when an individual facing threats is murdered and the victim has penned the source of death threats, the note written is accepted as the dying declaration and those named are immediately arrested pending investigation and trial. Since the source of threat was from the most powerful Institution in the land and murder carried out by its proxies, direct evidence was washed away and witnesses of course will disappear.
    Everyone knows the identity of the masterminds to the crime but no one has been able to bring a single member of that force to justice in all of 65 years, unlikely to happen in Benazir murder case either. Best the murderers can do is to muddy the air and water by creating confusion and using their powerful connections to scuttle efforts to bring them to justice.
    Yes, the countries ideological frontiers must be protected from the liberal and progressive forces wanting to see a tolerant, secular and peaceful Pakistan. Of course all of this is in NATIONAL INTEREST, none of it expounded by peoples representatives in Parliament though.

    Recommend

  • Ehson
    Jan 20, 2013 - 1:03PM

    At least there is some equality in Pakistan. It does not matter if a common man is killed or an ex-Prime Minister. In both cases, the killers are never caught and the matter is erased from the face of the earth.

    Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2013 - 1:34PM

    This is gonna go forever and will keep some of the paper’s space occupied.

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 20, 2013 - 2:29PM

    Nothing will ever come of this because all involved and there are many players, are all powerful and all in it together. It seems the ‘ could be whistle blowers’ are all six feet under.

    Recommend

  • K B Kale
    Jan 20, 2013 - 2:37PM

    I have often noticed that headlines in Tribune & DAWN are not same. Generally 70% of front page headlines in all National Newspapers are same. But I see something quite different in these two newspapers. Today in DAWN I didn’t see this nees of ‘hosing down evidence’ which is a big news!
    Why is it so?

    Recommend

  • Saeed
    Jan 20, 2013 - 4:45PM

    @kale ET is a balanced independent newspaper, while the other is patronage based hence biased and pandering to the powers that be. They are as John Swinton once described quite aptly, as fawning at the feet of mammon, and not averse to selling their country for their
    bread. Thank God for papers like ET where we get honest and fair reportage.

    Recommend

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