Benazir murder appeal

It took six years, but the Lahore High Court has finally set a date for hearing appeals in the Benazir Bhutto murder case

Despite convictions and several penalties awarded in the case, most of the big names have been out on bail for years after filing their appeals or otherwise fleeing justice, like former president Pervez Musharraf

Meanwhile, despite the convictions, millions of people still question the narratives of what happened on the day, and leading up to the fateful event

Indeed, Benazir’s assassination narrative changes depending on a person’s political affiliations, and every version of the story has certain incredulous elements

Several investigations ended without concrete results, and Benazir’s heirs were not particularly enthusiastic about pursuing the case in court

Even supposedly indisputable elements are oft-debated, further fueling conspiracies about the conspiracy

That any murder case would take over 15 years to resolve is a slap in the face of our justice

But the fact that the case involves not just the death of a former prime minister, but also 20 other people, makes it a national embarrassment

Given that the appeals process will almost certainly reach the Supreme Court, it is very possible that we could have lawyers working the eventual SC case who were not even born when Benazir was killed

It is worth noting that the announcement of a hearing date has only come after Musharraf — the most prominent accused in Benazir’s death — has himself died

Interestingly, he was still sent a court notice

The original case also saw 10 judges changed and at least 16 people accused, but only eight arrests

The principal accused, former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, was killed by a US drone strike in 2009, while five others were killed in encounters with Pakistani law enforcers in separate incidents

Still, it remains odd that the focus at trial and in the appeals has been on the top cops accused of destroying evidence, rather than the alleged conspirators

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2023

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Date:11-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link