A special anti-terrorism court has sentenced two senior police officers to 17 years in prison in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, nine years, eight months and three days after the assassination.
While five others accused have been acquitted, former president Gen (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf has been declared a proclaimed offender as he failed to appear before the court.
Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, had been assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack in Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. At least 23 Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) workers had also died in the incident.
The policemen, CPO Saud Aziz and SP Rawal Town Khurram Shahzad, who have been sentenced for “negligence” under Sections 119 and 201 of the Pakistan Penal Code, have also been imposed a fine of Rs0.5 million each. In case of non-payment, they will have to serve an additional six months in jail.
The verdict was announced by judge Muhammad Asghar Khan under strict security arrangements at Rawalpindi’s Adiyala Jail.
During the course of the proceedings, seven challans of the case were presented and eight judges and three courts were changed.
Lawyers of the accused and the prosecutor completed their arguments on Wednesday after which the judge reserved judgment in the case.