BENAZIR MURDER CASE
From Our Correspondent
LAHORE: Two petitions were filed in the Supreme Court (SC) yesteday against the release of two police officers who were convicted in the Benazir Bhutto murder case but later granted bail. Saud Aziz, who was police chief of Rawalpindi when Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, and Khurram Shahzad, a former Superintendent of Police (SP) at Rawal Town, had been awarded 17 years in jail for negligence in security arrangements which subsequently led to the assassination of the former prime minister in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh. They were also fined Rs1 million each by an Anti-Terrorism Court which heard the case. However, they were released by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on October 6 after paying Rs200,000 in surety bonds each. Their release was challenged on Wednesday in two separate petitions filed in the SC on behalf of Rashida Bibi, widow of the slain former prime minister’s security guard, Akram Kaira, who had died alongside the politician in the Liaqat National Bagh blast in 2007. Advocate Latif Khosa filed the petitions on her behalf. The petition argued that the release of Aziz and Shahzad is against the law and based on ill intentions, while requesting the SC to suspend the LHC’s decision. The appeal claims that the high court did not review the facts before accepting the officers’ bail, even though criminal intent had been proven in the verdict issued by the anti-terrorism court.