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Ex-MI chief denies ordering hosing down of Bhutto murder site

world Updated: Apr 29, 2010 15:48 IST
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Pakistan's Former Military Intelligence chief Maj Gen Nadeem Ijaz Ahmad has rejected as "baseless" reports that he had ordered hosing down of the site in Rawalpindi where Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007, the media here said today.

Ahmad, a relative of former President Pervez Musharraf, submitted a "detailed statement along with some documents" yesterday to a three-member committee formed by Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani to determine whether the ex-Military Intelligence chief ordered police officials to clean the crime scene, unnamed sources were quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.

During his appearance before the committee, Ahmad "rubbished the notion of asking (former Rawalpindi police chief) Saud Aziz to hose the site," 'The News' daily reported.

He also handed over evidence of threats he received in connection with the killing of former premier Bhutto, the daily reported.

The committee did not question Ahmad, sources told 'The News'.

After his introductory statement, Ahmad handed over a written statement to the committee.

The committee is expected to decide whether it will again call Ahmad to appear before it after reviewing his written statement.

The committee also recorded the statement of Rawalpindi Superintendent of Police Rana Shahid, who described the crime scene as "very big" and said only a part of it was hosed down.

The News also quoted unnamed sources as saying that the committee had obtained the statements of DIG Khalid Qureshi, the head of the criminal inquiry team that probed Bhutto's murder; and officials of the bomb disposal squad and the state-run Rescue 1122 service.

Prior to appearing before the committee, Ahmad met senior military authorities.

The News daily quoted its sources as claiming that important records related to Bhutto from 2005 to December 31, 2007 were burnt under the supervision of former Intelligence Bureau chief Brig Ejaz Shah.

These records included information confided only to Shah and phone calls record of Al-Qaeda-linked militant commander Qari Saifullah, mentioned by Bhutto in her last book as a person who posed a threat to her life.