Benazir Bhutto murder: Convict Khurram Shahzad reinstated as SSP SB

LAHORE: Khurram Shahzad, a police officer convicted in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, has been reinstated as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Special Branch.

Shahzad and former City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi Saud Aziz were released from prison after a division bench of LHC suspended their conviction and granted them bail in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. The court ordered both the accused to submit Rs one million surety bonds each.

Saud Aziz, who was the city police chief at the time of the assassination of Bhutto, and Khurram Shahzad, former Superintendent of Police (SP) Rawal Town in Rawalpindi, were found guilty of mishandling the crime scene and awarded imprisonment of 17 years each.

Shahzad’s reinstatement is likely to raise eyebrows since he was convicted by a trial court and is yet to be exonerated from all charges in a high-profile murder case. His appeal against the conviction is pending for disposal in the LHC.

After a decade-long trial, the ATC earlier on August 31, handed down the verdict in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, during her return from a public gathering at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi.

It acquitted the five accused and declared military dictator Pervez Musharraf as fugitive.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have challenged the verdict in the LHC, seeking harsher punishment for the accused.