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FIA Challenges ATC Verdict in BB Murder Case

Rawalpindi (September 29, 2017): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has challenged the verdict of an anti-terrorism court in the Benazir Bhutto murder case seeking capital punishment for the accused.

The Agency has filed appeal against the ATC verdict seeking capital punishment for the two guilty policemen as well as the five men acquitted of all charges by the ATC.

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Last month, ATC had announced the verdict in the murder case, acquitting five Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan suspects — Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Rashid Ahmed and Aitzaz Shah — and announcing 17-year imprisonment for two former police officials.The court had also declared retired Gen Pervez Musharraf an absconder in the case.

The FIA moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench against the sentence through two separate petitions submitted on Friday. The first one argues that the two convicted culprits were not punished under the terrorism charges which were part of the case.The counsel for the agency also said that the ATC passed the verdict in a hurry without fulfilling legal requirements. According to the petition, filed in the Rawalpindi registry of the LHC, the two police officers — former City Police Officer Saood Aziz and former Superintendent Police Khurrum Shahzad — were sentenced under only two clauses each, whereas several other clauses, including terrorism, were also part of the case.The petition said that the 17-year imprisonment granted to both culprits was much less than what they deserved, demanding capital punishment for them.

The second petition states that the five accused who were set free had also confessed to their involvement before a magistrate, so they also deserved rigorous sentences.The five men were arrested within three months after the murder and they had confessed to their crime before a magistrate while weapons and other materials were also recovered from their possession, said the petition.The FIA asked the LHC to overturn the ATC’s decision, issue orders to arrest the five men, and award death sentences to them as well as the the two former police officers.

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