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Two acquitted in killing of Benazir murder case former lead prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfikar

Updated October 15, 2018

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Chaudhry Zulfikar was the lead prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto murder case when he was killed in May 2013. ─ AFP/File
Chaudhry Zulfikar was the lead prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto murder case when he was killed in May 2013. ─ AFP/File

Two accused of the 2013 slaying of Chaudhry Zulfikar, the lead Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, were acquitted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday.

ATC Judge Shariq Arjumand read out the short order, saying that brothers Hammad and Adnan Adil were acquitted due to a lack of evidence against them.

Zulfikar was killed as he made his way to court on the morning of May 3, 2013, to appear in hearing of the Benazir murder case. He was driving himself and was escorted by an armed guard sitting on the passenger seat. As he prepared to take make a turn, the assassins drove alongside the car and sprayed it with a hail of bullets. They pumped 10 bullets into Zulfikar’s chest and also injured the guard who was shot in the back.

Zulfikar then lost control of the car which careened up an adjacent green belt and ran over a female bystander before smashing into a tree. As he lay dying at the steering wheel, the security guard Farman Ali managed to return fire with an AK-47.

He was able to hit two of the fleeing assassins, killing one (Harris) and gravely injuring the other (Abdullah). A third assassin (Tanveer) trailing in a car behind, was able to collect the body of his accomplice and the other injured gunmen and escape.

Read more: The slaying of Chaudhry Zulfikar

Tanveer then took Harris and Abdullah to a safe house in Bara Kahu, on the outskirts of Islamabad. The house was owned by two brothers named Adnan and Hammad.

They buried in the backyard of their house and managed to get Abdullah to a hospital. Police were later able to arrest the two brothers from the safe house and also recovered the decomposing body of Harris from a shallow grave in the backyard.

The brothers Adnan and Hammad, it turned out, had allegedly been facilitators of several attacks including the assassination of Christian Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti and a suicide attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad.

The police arrested Adnan and Hammad from Bara Kahu in September 2013. They were subsequently indicted, along with Abdullah, in Dec 2013.