KARACHI-Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday cleared PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in the murder case of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, son of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. A single bench of SHC comprising Justice Pir Ali Shah announced the verdict on an acquittal application filed by PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari for exoneration in Murtaza Bhutto's murder case and court acquitted him in the case. Asif was facing charges of hatching conspiracy of Murtaza Bhutto's murder on September 20, 1996 in Karachi under Section 109, 120-D/ 34 PPC. Shaukat H. Zubedi, Shahadat Awan and Abu Bakar Zardari Advocates represented the applicant/ accused while State was represented by SPP M. Ilyas Khan while Sarfraz Tanoli and Mehmood A Qureshi advocate appeared for the heirs of the deceased. Applicant's lawyer Shaukat Zaubedi appeared before the court and submitted that the prosecution failed to prove conspiracy charges and supporting evidence against our client in the Murtaza Bhutto murder case and none of the witness in the case had nominated Asif in the case while the Asif was not nominated in the all FIRs which were registered in this case. The prosecutor lawyer Sarfaraz Tanoli, Mehmood A Qureshi and Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) M. Ilyas Khan appeared before the court and submitted that prosecution witnesses were trustworthy and their testimony could not be ruled out. The counsel said Murtaza Bhutto was repeatedly apprehending that conspiracy was being hatched up to kill him and prosecution witnesses also said in their deposition that Murtaza had been apprehending about his life and feared that Asif Zardari and Abdullah Shah wanted to kill him through the police. On the dying declaration of Murtaza Bhutto that 'Today Asif Zardari, Abdullah Shah have got us killed, they won and we have lost', he contended that these were the words of the deceased and only the trial court has to examine such evidence after hearing the entire case of the prosecution. He also submitted that the trial court, presided over by the then DJ and now Justice Yasmeen Abbassi and DJ Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani (later a judge of the SHC), rejected the applications moved by the accused under Section 265-K (acquittal from the case on grounds of insufficient evidence). The order passed by Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani as the District and Sessions judge was a detailed one in which all aspects of the case have been discussed and the application was dismissed on merit, he submitted, praying to the court that as no fresh or new grounds were taken, the application cannot be judged. The court after hearing the argument of both the parties' lawyers announced verdict and cleared Asif Ali Zardari in the case. Murtaza Bhutto, younger brother of former Prime Minister of Pakistan slain Benazir Bhutto was gunned down in 1996 by Karachi police while his sister was in power.