Scotland Yard to submit Benazir report soon

Updated on Feb 07, 2008 01:06 PM IST
The Scotland Yard team that investigated the assassination of former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto is expected to hand over the report to the government on Friday.
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IANS | By, Islamabad

The Scotland Yard team that investigated the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto is expected to hand over the report to the government on Friday.

"The Scotland Yard team has arrived and would be handing over the first report to the authorities Friday," an official of the interior ministry said on Thursday.

The Scotland Yard team was in Pakistan in January, soon after Bhutto's death in a gun and bomb attack in the garrison town of Rawalpindi on Dec 27.

President Pervez Musharraf had invited the Scotland Yard team after he had ruled out demands by Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for a probe by the UN. But Musharraf admitted that Pakistani investigators had made mistakes in the initial probe of the murder.

During their three-week stay in Pakistan, eight detectives collected forensic evidence, reconstructed the crime scene and recorded statements from witnesses and the medical team that tried to revive Bhutto after the attack.

Asked if the team would investigate further, the official said it would depend on the circumstances.

The government has frequently said the investigators' task was to give their opinion on the cause of Bhutto's death to bring to an end a controversy over exactly how she died.

Initially, the government said the former two-time prime minister died from a fatal blow to the skull when she hit the sunroof while hurriedly withdrawing into a vehicle after a powerful suicide blast at an election rally.

But her party and media reports said she died of wounds from bullets fired by an assassin from very close range as she stood waving to party workers.

Musharraf later admitted that it was possible Bhutto might have been shot dead.

Bhutto had accused several senior government and intelligence officials of plotting to kill her following a double suicide attack on a parade to welcome her home from exile in October.

The government has said it would make Scotland Yard's findings public.

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