An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday granted bail to Abdullah Umer, the main accused in the murder of former federal minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti.
Umer is also the main accused in the murder of Federal Investigation Agency’s special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar in May 2013. ATC Judge Attiqur Rehman, who resumed hearing Bhatti’s murder case on Friday, granted bail to the main accused bail after he was ordered to submit a surety bond worth Rs1 million.
Umer was arrested by police in June 2013 in an injured condition from a private hospital where he was admitted for treatment. Umer later confessed to murdering Bhatti during police interrogation and was also accused of having links with al-Qaeda.
Bhatti was assassinated while leaving his residence in Sector I-8 in 2011 over his alleged support for reforming the country’s blasphemy laws.
The minister was travelling with his driver when he was gunned down. Zulfiqar was shot dead in a similar fashion last year. He was involved in numerous high-profile cases, including the Benazir Bhutto murder case and the Mumbai attacks case.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2014.
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