A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has ordered the arrest of two senior police officers on Sunday.
They are accused of negligence in the murder of former PM Benazir Bhutto (photo, from aljazeera.net), who died in a gun and suicide attack in the city of Rawalpindi in December 2007.
One of the officers is Saud Aziz, Rawalpindi’s ex-police chief, and the other is Khurram Shahzad, one of his deputies.
According to a special prosecutor, both officers had failed to make proper arrangements and then ordered the crime scene to be prematurely hosed down.
The killing could have been prevented, said a UN report in April, the result of a UN commission of inquiry.
The report also accused the Pakistani authorities of severely hampering the investigation, adding that no credible inquiry should rule out the possibility of involvement of members of the country’s military and security establishment.
The Pakistani police’s decision to hose down the crime scene was also criticised by the UN report, saying that the failure to collect and preserve evidence “inflicted irreparable damage to the investigation”.
“The court has issued warrants and these are non-bailable. They can be arrested anytime,” special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali told Reuters news agency.
“I argued that they were responsible for Bhutto’s security and they failed to make foolproof security arrangements and they ordered the crime scene to be hosed down despite resistance from other officials.”
Next Saturday, the court will resume proceedings.
When Benazir Bhutto was killed, she was campaigning ahead of parliamentary elections, just weeks after returning from exile.
Although a government investigation blamed the then supreme commander of the Taliban in Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, he always denied being involved in the assassination.
He was killed in a suspected US missile attack in August 2009.
Five militants are already facing trial for alleged involvement in Bhutto’s murder.