Islamabad HC orders release of Shahbaz Bhatti murder suspect

The IHC has directed the police to release a suspect allegedly involved in the assassination of former Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 20:30 PM IST

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the police to release a suspect allegedly involved in the assassination of former Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti.

Bhatti was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Islamabad last month for advocating reforms of the nation’s draconian blasphemy laws.

The court resumed the hearing of a petition filed by Afzoona Kausar, wife of Dr Abdul Razzaq, who was arrested by police on March 9 on the orders of the Additional District Magistrate.

Basharat Ullah, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that Razzaq was falsely implicated in the case and an FIR was registered against him in the Saddar Baironi Police Station on January 29, 2009.

Razzaq was given ten years’ imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court, but the Lahore High Court suspended his imprisonment and ordered his release on March 1, he added.

There was no case registered against the suspect, but still police arrested him on March 9, the Daily Times quoted Basharat, as saying.

Additional Attorney General Ghulam Farooq Awan appeared on behalf of the federation and contended that Razzaq was a convict and he was arrested on the directions of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) on March 9.

Awan said the SSP had named Razzaq as one of the suspects involved in Bhatti’s assassination in his report to the district administration.

The court, not convinced by the prosecution’s arguments, directed the release of Razzaq and disposed of the petition.

ANI