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April 17, 2012

Govt’s failure to probe its leader’s killing unfortunate: CJ

April 17, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday observed that it was unfortunate that the federal government had failed to conduct a fair investigation into the murder of its leader, Benazir Bhutto.

The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and comprising Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, noted that a second FIR needed to be registered, as the first did not include names of some key suspects. The court observed that the real culprits of the Benazir Bhutto murder were still at large, and investigators failed to bring them to book. The court observed that it was not a case of any Tom Dick or Harry but that of the biggest leader of the country. The court observed that a person responsible for any wrongdoing could not conduct a fair investigation. It observed that as long as high profile suspects were holding public offices, an independent investigation was not possible.

Rehman Malik's counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan sought one week's time to submit a reply and was snubbed by the court. Chief Justice Chaudhry told Mansoor that Rehman Malik should facilitate an independent probe by appearing before the court in person and clearing his position as a suspect.

The bench raised its concerns about the apathy plaguing the case. "Why did the government not publish the UN Commission report on which Rs60 million of the taxpayers' money was spent? Why have no steps been taken in the light of the report? Why was the murder of an internationally acclaimed leader not been taken up in the assemblies and relevant parliamentary forums?"

The petitioner, Chaudhry Aslam, the protocol officer of Benazir, alleged that not making the UN Commission report public was mala fide. However, the court questioned the intentions of the petitioner asking why he had not approached the court earlier.

The chief justice expressed surprise at the request of Khalid Ranjha, the counsel for Ch Pervaiz Elahi, that he was opposing the

registration of the second FIR. The CJ also asked the counsel for Rehman Malik and Syed Kamal Shah not to compare their leaders to Benazir Bhutto.

No counsel appeared on behalf of former law minister Babar Awan. The case was adjourned till April 24.Online adds: Rehman Malik had a joint bank account with Benazir Bhutto, revealed a legal document.

According to the statement submitted by Rehman Malik in the Supreme Court as part of the BB murder case, Rehman Malik and Benazir Bhutto had a joint account and a company in their name.

A copy of the statement was shown by a private TV channel. Malik, however, added in the statement that the company and the foreign joint bank account were closed during the life of Benazir Bhutto; therefore the impression of him getting any financial benefit from her murder was illogical.

Malik said he was not in charge of Benazir's security, while the driver of the vehicle that carried Benazir Bhutto was from Zardari House. He said he gave no instructions to the driver of the vehicle that included among its passengers Farhatullah Babar, Gen (retd) Tauqir Zia and Babar Awan.

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