RAWALPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi Bench, rejected the bail plea of Rasheed Ahmed, an accused in former premier Benazir Bhutto (BB) murder case, on Tuesday.

A Division Bench of LHC comprising Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh and Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu heard the bail application of Rasheed Ahmed, which he filed through his counsel Rao Abdur Raheem on January 28, 2012. Rasheed Ahmed, along with former President Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, former CPO Syed Saud Aziz, former SP Rawal Town Khurram Shehzad and four others including Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah, Hassnain Gul and Raffaqat, was nominated as a co-accused in BB murder case.  During the proceeding, Rao Abdur Raheem, the defense lawyer, argued before the bench that if former CPO Syed Saud Aziz and former SP Khurram Shehzad could be granted bails in BB murder case then the accused Rasheed Ahmed should also be given the bail according to rule of consistency.

He added that the prosecution had been making so much delay in the case, as it could not conclude the trial to date. He mentioned that after passage of four years the prosecution presented only 14 witnesses out of 144 in total to get record their statements in BB murder case so far. With this speed, Rao said, the prosecution needed more 33 years to conclude the trail.

Rao said his client was not directly involved in the murder rather the only allegation of the prosecution was that Rasheed had the knowledge of conspiracy hatched to kill BB. Therefore, the honorable court should grant Rasheed Ahmed the bail, Rao concluded his arguments.

Federal Investigation Agency, Prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar argued that police officials were only charged for hosing down the assassination site, security breach and not holding postmortem of any victim including BB rather Rasheed Ahmed was a terrorist and had accepted in his confessional statement that he received Rs 400,000 from Baitullah Mehsood and brought suicide bomber to Liaquat Bagh to kill BB on December 27, 2007. Therefore, the court may reject the bail plea of the accused, Chaudhry added.

The Division Bench of LHC comprising Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh and Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu, after conclusion of arguments of both the parties, rejected the bail plea of Rasheed Ahmed.