Pakistanis hold four over killing of judge's aide

Updated on May 30, 2007 08:15 PM IST
Pakistani police have arrested four people suspected of involvement in the killing a judicial official who worked with the country's suspended chief justice.
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Reuters | By, Islamabad

Pakistani police have arrested four people suspected of involvement in the killing a judicial official who worked with the country's suspended chief justice, a government minister said on Wednesday.

Gunmen shot dead the Supreme Court registrar, Syed Hammad Raza, after barging into his home in the capital, Islamabad, early on May 14.

His family said it was a targeted killing, not a murder committed in the course of a robbery.

Lawyers for suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said Raza was an important witness in their case to clear Chaudhry of government accusations of misconduct.

The attempt to remove Chaudhry has blown up into a political crisis for President Pervez Musharraf, which threatens to undermine his eight-year rule.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao told a news conference the four suspects were arrested in the Pakistani part of the Kashmir region, known as Asad Kashmir.

"A special police team was sent to Azad Kashmir which collected information about the gang and its movement and arrested them on Tuesday night," Sherpao said.

The four had been found with a watch taken from Raza's house and they had given information that led to the recovery of a pistol in Islamabad, Sherpao said. Two members of the gang were at large, he said.

But the minister said a motive for Raza's killing had not been determined.

Police were still investigating and the four had yet to be charged, Sherpao said.

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