Two senior police officers have been charged on Saturday by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan over the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk), the first female prime minister of any Muslim country. She had been prime minister twice, from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996.
Prosecutors said they were charged with security breaches and failure to protect her.
The two senior police officers were arrested almost a year ago. One of them is Saud Aziz, Rawalpindi’s police chief at the time.
Five suspected Taliban members have been in custody for almost four years. They were also charged by the court, for criminal conspiracy. They are accused of bringing a suicide bomber from Pakistan’s tribal areas to Rawalpindi in order to carry out the attack.
The judge of the anti-terrorist court read out the indictment in a high security prison in Rawalpindi, in the presence of the accused who denied the charges, said Chaudhry Azhar, the public prosecutor.
Ms Bhutto died in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi in December 2007, while she was leaving an election rally.
Three other suspects have been killed. One of them was the head of the Pakistani Taliban Baitullah Mehsud, who died in 2009 in a US drone strike.
And two other suspects are still at large.
Also wanted in the case, Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf was not charged. Last February the anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for him, saying he failed to provide Ms Bhutto with adequate security.
When he did not appear in court in August his property was officially confiscated from him and his bank accounts in Pakistan were frozen.
Mr Musharraf denies the allegation.
A few months after Ms Bhutto’s death, Mr Musharraf was forced to resign.
General elections were won by Ms Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party and her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, became president.