Pakistan indicts 7 in Bhutto assassination

Two police officers are among the 7 -- apparently being charged with "security breaches and covering up evidence by hosing down the crime scene."

But the 5 main suspects are all Taliban. CNN:

Malik Muhammad Rafique, a senior defense attorney for the officers, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, said there was "no evidence connecting the two men to criminal conspiracy to assassinate Bhutto."

Both officers pleaded not guilty and were released on bail, Rafique said. Five others were indicted for terrorism, murder, attempted murder and criminal conspiracy, he said.

The men were indicted in an anti-terror court in Rawalpindi. The proceeding was not open to the public.

The five men are suspected of having links with Beitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in August 2009, Rafique said.

Bhutto had returned from a self-imposed, eight-year exile to run in the country's general elections in 2008. She escaped one attempt on her life but was killed by a 15-year-old suicide bomber while campaigning in Rawalpindi, the seat of Pakistan's military.

Of course, they're not going to investigate former President Musharraf, or the ISI, who had plenty of motive to kill Ms. Bhutto. There were analysts at the time who thought the Taliban was not sophisticated enough in their operations to carry out a successful attack like the ambush of Bhutto's car. And Musharraf certainly had a more compelling reason to get rid of the former prime minister - competition.

Most Pakisantis are questioning the indictments so even if they are convicted, it's not likely the issue will go away.


Two police officers are among the 7 -- apparently being charged with "security breaches and covering up evidence by hosing down the crime scene."

But the 5 main suspects are all Taliban. CNN:

Malik Muhammad Rafique, a senior defense attorney for the officers, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, said there was "no evidence connecting the two men to criminal conspiracy to assassinate Bhutto."

Both officers pleaded not guilty and were released on bail, Rafique said. Five others were indicted for terrorism, murder, attempted murder and criminal conspiracy, he said.

The men were indicted in an anti-terror court in Rawalpindi. The proceeding was not open to the public.

The five men are suspected of having links with Beitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in August 2009, Rafique said.

Bhutto had returned from a self-imposed, eight-year exile to run in the country's general elections in 2008. She escaped one attempt on her life but was killed by a 15-year-old suicide bomber while campaigning in Rawalpindi, the seat of Pakistan's military.

Of course, they're not going to investigate former President Musharraf, or the ISI, who had plenty of motive to kill Ms. Bhutto. There were analysts at the time who thought the Taliban was not sophisticated enough in their operations to carry out a successful attack like the ambush of Bhutto's car. And Musharraf certainly had a more compelling reason to get rid of the former prime minister - competition.

Most Pakisantis are questioning the indictments so even if they are convicted, it's not likely the issue will go away.


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