Bhutto murder: Pakistan police and Taliban charged

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Benazir Bhutto was campaigning for election when she was assassinated

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has charged two senior police officers over the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

They were charged with security breaches and failure to protect her, prosecutors said.

Five alleged Taliban militants have also been charged with criminal conspiracy over Bhutto's death.

She died in a gun and bomb attack while campaigning for election. The accused deny the charges.

One of the police officers charged was Saud Aziz, the chief of police at the time in Rawalpindi, where Ms Bhutto was killed.

He and the other police officer were arrested nearly a year ago.

Prosecutor Mohammad Azhar said they were accused of "changing the security plan for BB [Bhutto]," Reuters news agency said.

Musharraf 'fugitive'

Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan at the time, has also been implicated in Ms Bhutto's murder.

The anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for him in February over what it said was his failure to provide her with adequate security.

He was declared a fugitive after failing to appear at the court in February.

Mr Musharraf denies the allegation.

In August the court ordered the confiscation of his property and the freezing of his bank accounts in Pakistan.

The five suspected Taliban members have been in custody for nearly four years.

They are accused of bringing a suicide bomber from Pakistan's tribal areas to Rawalpindi to carry out the attack.

Three other suspects, including the head of the Pakistani Taliban Baitullah Mehsud, have been killed. Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in 2009.

Two other suspects remain at large.

After Ms Bhutto's death, her Pakistan People's Party won general elections and her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, became president after Mr Musharraf was forced to step down.

Ms Bhutto was Pakistan's prime minister from from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996.

More on this story