Prosecutor in Bhutto assassination case shot dead: police

ISLAMABAD Fri May 3, 2013 10:22am EDT

1 of 4. Security officials inspect the damaged car, which prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfikar was travelling in, when he came under attack by unidentified gunmen, in Islamabad May 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mian Khursheed

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Gunmen on a motorcycle on Friday shot dead a prosecutor investigating the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, one of the most shocking events in the country's turbulent history.

Police sources said Chaudhry Zulfikar was shot in his car after he left home and headed to a hearing in the case, a reminder of Pakistan's instability just a week before general elections.

"He was killed by unknown gunmen. Twelve bullets were fired," said a police source.

Zulfikar was also the prosecutor investigating the 2008 attacks on India's commercial capital, Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed. India said militants based in Pakistan were behind the three-day rampage.

The attack on Zulfikar left glass and blood stains on the front seats of his car.

Security expert Amir Rana said Zulfikar was probably a marked man because he had been prosecuting militants who were jailed in connection with Bhutto's death, or other cases.

Bhutto's assassination is shrouded in mystery.

She was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack carried out by a 15-year-old boy after an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, weeks after she returned to Pakistan from years in self-imposed exile.

A report by a U.N. commission of inquiry released in 2010 said any credible investigation should not rule out the possibility that members of Pakistan's military and security establishment were involved.

Bhutto was a fierce critic of Pakistan's Taliban and Islamist groups that had been patronized by elements of Pakistan's military. She was deeply mistrusted by the security establishment.

Speculation has lingered that Bhutto was the victim of a plot by allies of General Pervez Musharraf, the president at the time, who did not want her to come to power.

The killing of the prosecutor comes days after a Pakistani court put Musharraf on a 14-day judicial remand for charges of failing to provide adequate security for Bhutto before her assassination.

The former army chief, who has always denied responsibility for Bhutto's death, returned to Pakistan in March after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest the May 11 general election. But has since been banned from politics for life.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by John Chalmers and Nick Macfie)

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Comments (6)
matthewslyman wrote:
Who has more control in Pakistan:
• The democratically elected government?
• The military?
• The judiciary?
• The “Islamic” extremists like the Taliban etc.?

Is there a clear distinction between people in these categories? Or are there, as sometimes alleged in Western media, clandestine links between the above groups?

In other news:
“…Health workers sacked, accused of working against national interest…” (for unwittingly helping the USA catch Osama bin Laden.)

May 03, 2013 1:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

I know the situation in the US is vastly different than Pakistan and our government holds much more power to enforce, however I will offer you some similarities.

Gangs in most major cities in America. Police know the organizations, know that they are involved in drugs, prostitution, racketeering, and are the main source of gun related deaths in America, yet they are powerless to end the threat. And organized crime is notorious for making witnesses disappear. Not to mention the prosecutor in Texas that was recently shot 5 times. That is supposedly linked to white supremacist group, ie a jailhouse gang.

The middle east has religious based gang violence, we have drug/prostitution/gambling/theft related gang violence. Of the 32,000 average gun related deaths a year, around 60% is suicide, and 3% is accidental, leaving an average of 11,000. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. It would be completely accurate for a foreign newspaper to run an article stating 25 Americans were shot and killed today in gang related violence. They could do it every day, all year long, and be accurate. That makes the articles we see once or twice a month of 10 dead in a bomb blast in Pakistan or Iraq into a bit of perspective as to our own issues we continue to ignore.

May 03, 2013 6:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
50cal wrote:

I think you missed the REAL similarity it is much simpler than you made it out to be:

“An arrest affidavit revealed Kim Lene Williams told investigators Tuesday that her husband, Eric Lyle Williams, was the triggerman in the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, and assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse. McLelland and Hasse prosecuted Eric Williams last year for theft of three computer monitors.”

We can be just as stupid with much less reason here…..and it is not about guns.

May 03, 2013 12:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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