Sunday, November 6, 2011

Benazir Bhutto Assassination Trial: With Real, Live, Defendants

Pakistan's prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated on December 27, 2007, in Karachi. Karachi street lighting just happened to fail when the attack happened. The city's phone service just happened to be not working at the same time.

That's a lot of "just happeneds."

If the assassination had been in lower Manhattan, with a curiously coincidental power failure and communications systems failure, I might be more suspicious than I am. But Karachi isn't New York City, Pakistan isn't America, and not everybody has reliable power and telecommunications services.

I've been over this before:On the other hand, Pakistan's alleged national government has a long and dubious history of 'just happening' to foul up efforts to protect them from terrorists. Then there's the Mumbai connection - and that may not be another topic.

Bhutto's assassination, and Pakistan's national 'government,' are in the news again. Seven people have been charged with having a hand in Bhutto's assassination. Two of them are Pakistani police officers.

They may be guilty of having helped kill Benazir Bhutto. Or not. I really don't know.

I think it's interesting, and guardedly hopeful, that some of Pakistan's bosses are going to the trouble of having a trial. Particularly when it would be so easy for the 'guilty parties' to 'sign a full confession,' and then conveniently 'commit suicide.'

Maybe I'm being too cynical about this. On the other hand, Pakistan's so-called national leaders have not been acting in a way that encourages trust.

Excerpts from the news:
"The anti-terrorism court of Rawalpindi Saturday framed charges against seven accused including two police officers in the assassination case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

"The seven accused including two police officers pleaded 'not guilty' when the judge informed them about the charges of murder. The judge, however, went ahead with framing the charges and asked the prosecution to produce witnesses in the court from November 19 onward. During the in-camera trial held at Adyala Jail, ATC No 1 Judge Shahid Rafique framed charges against seven accused including former City Police Officer (CCPO) Syed Saud Aziz, SP Rawal Town Khurram Shehzad, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah, Rafaqat Gul, Hussnain Gul and Abdul Rahseed.

"The ATC judge charged the two police officers with breach of security as they removed the security box of Benazir Bhutto, ordered the hosing down of crime scene and thus destroyed the proofs. Also they did not order post mortem of any innocent citizen killed in the blast. It has also been charged that they were involved in the Benazir Bhutto assassination plan.

"While the five others were accused of 'criminal conspiracy' for bringing the suicide bomber from the tribal belt in the northwest and keeping him in a house in Rawalpindi. The charges framed against them by the court include terrorism, murder, attempted murder and becoming part of the murder conspiracy.

"According to the investigation team probing the case, accused Hussnain Gul was the handler, who brought the suicide bomber from Waziristan and kept him in his house in Rawalpindi.

"Rafaqat Hussain and Abdul Rasheed were alleged that they knew about the conspiracy and concealed the same. Aitzaz Shah, the juvenile accused and suicide bomber, and his handler Sher Zaman were also accused of the same charges....

"...Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, currently living in self-imposed exile in Britain and Dubai, is also wanted in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. The prosecutor said Benazir was killed in a bomb-and-gun attack because president Musharraf had not provided enough security to her....

"...Agencies add: The ATC court did not indict Musharraf in the case.
Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said the court would deal with Musharraf's issue later.
(The Nation)
"Seven men, including two senior police officers, were indicted Saturday for conspiracy to commit murder in the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a defense attorney told CNN....

"...Malik Muhammad Rafique, a senior defense attorney for the officers, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, said there was "no evidence connecting the two men to criminal conspiracy to assassinate Bhutto.""
Related posts:In the news:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.