RAWALPINDI - An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday took up the murder case of PPP slain leader Benazir Bhutto and adjourned hearing till Tuesday (today) after the defence lawyers of the three accused completed arguments.

When ATC-I Special Judge Asghar Khan resumed hearing in the murder case, Malik Muhammad Rafique appeared on behalf of former CPO Syed Saud Aziz and former SP Khurram Shehzad while Rao Abdur Rahim appeared on behalf accused Rashid Ahmed.

Arguing before the court, Rafique said that his client Aziz had completed all arrangements in the General Hospital for conducting an autopsy of Benazir Bhutto soon after her death. He said that the FIA also prepared a report mentioning that Aziz repeatedly contacted the PPP leadership for the postmortem.

He told the court that the then PPP leader Makhdhoom Amin Fahim and Naheed Khan, a close aide to Benazir Bhutto, contacted Aziz and informed him that Asif Ali Zardari did not want to carry out her postmortem. “The CPO even though did not surrender and met Zardari at Chaklala Airbase and sought his permission for the postmortem but Zardari denied,” he said.

The counsel said that nobody was informing the court as to where the murder plan of Benazir Bhutto was prepared and where the then military dictator Pervez Musharraf met with Baitullah Mehsood and other accused.

He said that the investigators did not recover Benazir Bhutto’s Black Berry for three years after her death.

Malik said that the investigation reports of the UN and the Scotland Yard could not be presented before the court as evidence as the reports did not carry statements of witnesses.

The defence lawyer said that everybody knew where the plot of Benazir Bhutto murder was hatched but nobody was ready to reveal before the court.

Rao Abdur Rahim, in response to arguments of the prosecution, said that the investigation report of the Scotland Yard was not authentic. He said that Zardari and Rehman Malik were ultimately beneficiary of the death of Benazir Bhutto, as they later became President and Interior Minister respectively.

He said that it should also be probed as to why and how the backup car of Benazir Bhutto, being driven by Rehman Malik, the then Chief Security Officer of BB, and Babar Awan had reached Islamabad after the bomb-and-gun attack on the late leader.

The lawyer also raised an objection to the injuries inflicted on the then DSP Ishtiaq Shah stating he sustained bullet injuries from behind instead of on chest. “This shows Ishtiaq Shah was stopping the Land Cruiser of BB instead of protecting her,” Rao commented.

He said that the former CPO should also be questioned as to why other personnel of police disappeared from Liaquat Bagh after the police boss removed SP Ishfaq Anwar from the security of the BB.