RAWALPINDI - The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench on Monday granted bail to five accused who were languishing in jail despite their acquittal by an Anti- Terrorism Court in former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.

An Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi had announced the verdict in the Benazir Bhutto murder’s case in 2017 while acquitting the five accused and awarded 17-year imprisonment to two police officers Khurram Shehzad and former CPO Syed Saud Aziz.

However, the jail authorities had not released the accused after Deputy Commissioner wrote a letter to the Punjab Home Department requesting for their further 30 days detention to maintain law and order situation in the City.

A divisional bench of LHC Rawalpindi Bench comprised Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf and Justice Sarfraz Dogar granted bail to five persons namely Muhammad Rafaqat, Husnain Gull, Sher Zaman, Rashid Ahmed and Aitzaz Shah in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

The court also ordered the five people to submit surety bonds of Rs 0.5 million each in the court and assure their physical presence before the court until final decision on the appeals filed by Federal Investigation Agency.

Meanwhile, the accused had challenged the decision of the government and Home Department for detaining them despite their acquittal in the case.

During Monday’s hearing, Naseer Tanvali Advocate represented Aitzaz Shah in LHC whereas Malik Jawad Khalid represented four other people, including Muhammad Rafaqat, Husnain Gull, Sherzaman and Rashid Ahmed in the BB assassination case. Additional Advocate General Malik Siddique Awan appeared before the court and contested the case on behalf of the FIA.