Saturday, May 26, 2012

JihadWatch Reports -- Shahbaz Bhatti Assassination Cover-Up

Bhatti visiting with people in need, and hearing their stories.
Big surprise: Cover-up in murder of Pakistani Christian politician who opposed blasphemy law

No one expected this! Why, the Pakistani authorities are as honest and interested in equal justice for the nation's Christians as the day is long! "Bhatti Murder Case in Pakistan Increasingly Murky," from CDN, May 25 (thanks to Kenneth):

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 25 (CDN) — The investigation into the murder of Pakistan’s only cabinet-level Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, has become mired amid suspicions of a possible cover-up, sources said.

Lax investigations, a series of freed suspects and lack of coordination across law enforcement organizations have stalled the case following the March 2, 2011 slaying of the federal minister for Minority Affairs, they said. A trial court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi this month exonerated yet another suspect arrested for his alleged role in the murder.

Rana Masood Akhtar, special judge in Anti-terrorism Court II, freed Ziaur Rehman after an investigating officer told the court that he was no longer wanted in the case due to lack of evidence. Bhatti’s family cited business disputes between Rehman and Bhatti as their reason for suspecting Rehman.

In February police had dropped investigations into another suspect, Abid Malik for lack of evidence. At first, Rehman had fled, managing to escape when police arrested Malik from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport.

Bhatti’s brother, Paul Bhatti, said the family is not satisfied with the police investigation and authorities’ low level of interest in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“We thought Ziaur Rehman’s arrest would lead us to the killers of my brother, because the police had obtained an international arrest warrant based on evidence,” he said. “I don’t understand why they issued the request [for an Interpol warrant] if they did not have sufficient evidence.”

Bhatti’s All Pakistan Minorities Alliance has also condemned inaction and lack of seriousness of government authorities.

In June 2011, a trial court released Hafiz Nazar Muhammad for lack of evidence after arresting him for having made threatening calls to Bhatti from Sargodha.

Bhatti was an outspoken critic of the country’s widely condemned “blasphemy” laws. At the scene of Bhatti’s murder, police recovered a leaflet, presumably left by the attackers, asserting that they had killed him for raising his voice against the blasphemy laws....

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