Abb Takk News

PPP To File Appeals Against ATC Verdict in BB Murder Case

Lahore (September 07, 2017): Pakistan Peoples Party’s legal counsel Latif Khosa said that the party will file three appeals against the anti-terrorism court’s verdict in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Khosa, while addressing a news conference in Lahore on Thursday, informed that the first appeal will be against the decision to hold a separate trial against former president Pervez Musharraf, he said.

Khosa claimed that Musharraf has been absconding for so long that he is “frustrating the law”. The court should not wait for him till he returns to the country, he said.

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He also alleged that former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar provided a “safe passage” to Musharraf.

Over the right to challenge the verdict, Khosa claimed that any legal heir of the deceased has the right to challenge it.

“We are just exercising our legal right.”

The decision to file an appeal was made during an advisory meeting of PPP’s senior leadership Thursday evening. The meeting was chaired by PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.The appeal will be filed by Latif Khosa on behalf of Asif Ali Zardari, it was decided in the meeting.

Latif Khosa and Aitzaz Ahsan had earlier briefed party leaders over the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The meeting was attended by prominent PPP leaders including Khursheed Shah, Faryal Talpur, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Qamar Zaman Qaira, Farhatullah Babar, and Nayyar Hussain Bukhari among others.

Earlier, Bilawal had called the decision disappointing and unacceptable, adding that the release of terrorists was not only unjust but also dangerous. According to Bilawal, the PPP would explore legal options in the case.On August 31, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) announced its verdict in the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto after almost ten years.

The verdict announced by ATC Judge Asghar Khan at Adiala Jail cleared five accused in the case, sentenced two former police officials and declared former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as an absconder.

Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rasheed, Rafaqat Hussain and Hasnain Gul, who were indicted by the ATC in November 2008, were cleared of all charges.

While Saud Aziz, who was the police chief in Rawalpindi at the time of Bhutto’s assassination, and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad, were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each.

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The verdict also declared Musharraf an absconder in the case, ordering the seizure of his property.

Bhutto, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief and two-time former prime minister, was assassinated in a suicide attack at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.

An FIR over the incident was registered on behalf of the state following which the murder trial of five suspects began in February of 2008. However, once PPP won the 2008 elections, the investigation was handed over to the FIA.

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