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UN to appoint fact-finding panel on Bhutto assassination

Dharam Shourie in United Nations | February 06, 2009 12:03 IST

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The three-member international commission that the United Nations plans to appoint to probe the assassination of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto [Images] will be a fact-finding panel and will not carry out any criminal investigation.

In a letter to the Security Council released on Thursday, Secretary-General Ban ki Moon [Images] said the life of the commission will be of six months. "You will note that the commission's mandate would be of a limited duration (a maximum of six months), and would not extend to carrying out a criminal investigation," he said in the letter to Council President for February, Ambassador [Images] Yukio Takasu of Japan [Images].

"The duty of determining criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination would remain with the Pakistani authorities," the letter said. "Its mandate would be to determine the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto," Ban Ki-moon added.

The names of the commission member have not yet been announced. Michele Montas, the secretary-general's spokesperson, said it would be done soon.

According to UN sources, the commission will be headed by Chile's UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz.

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