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Home > News > PTI

Bhutto death probe: Six Scotland Yard sleuths return to Britain

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | January 14, 2008 19:25 IST

Six members of the Scotland Yard team, probing the assassination of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto, returned to the United Kingdom on Monday with evidence gathered from their investigation.

Since it arrived in the country ten days ago, the team from the Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism Command has visited the site in Rawalpindi where Bhutto was attacked by a suicide bomber on December 27, reviewed forensic and technical evidence and questioned eyewitnesses and doctors who treated her.

Five British investigators arrived here on January 4 and they were subsequently joined by six more sleuths. The other members of the Scotland Yard team are still in Pakistan and likely to leave later this week, officials said.

The sleuths are taking back evidence, including video footage of the attack, for analysis in British laboratories, they said. Over the past two days, members of the team again reconstructed the attack on Bhutto near Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi and thoroughly inspected the site. They visited Rawalpindi General Hospital again and questioned doctors about the nature of Bhutto's wounds.

Under the terms of the agreement between the British and Pakistani governments, the Scotland Yard team was brought in to establish the exact cause of Bhutto's death, an issue which has become a matter of controversy.

The government initially said she sustained a fatal skull fracture but this was dismissed as lies by Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party. President Pervez Musharraf [Images] subsequently admitted that she might have been shot.

The PPP has also said that the probe by the Scotland Yard team would be inadequate as it was not aimed at identifying the planners, financiers and perpetrators involved in the attack. The party has also insisted on a probe by the United Nations, but this has been ruled out by Musharraf.

On Sunday, the British investigators revisited the scene where Bhutto was assassinated. This was their fourth visit to the site.The team re-enacted the assassination by parking a SUV in the same position where Bhutto's armoured vehicle had been attacked. The investigators also took photographs and measured the crime scene from different angles.

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