Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has ruled that the government does not need permission from any authority to make public the findings of the probe into the Benazir Bhutto assassination case or judicial proceedings against those accused of involvement in her murder.
The anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi gave its ruling yesterday in response to an application filed by Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali that had asked Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman to give permission to make public the investigation and the trial proceedings.
The judge further said the government could make public the findings of the investigation and the trial proceedings.
Five men – Aitzaz Sherazi, Abdul Rasheed Turabi, Sher Zaman, Rafaqat Hussain and Hassnain Gul – have been arrested and charged with involvement in the assassination of Bhutto.
Their trial is being conducted behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons.
Former President Pervez Musharraf, currently living in self-exile outside Pakistan, has been declared a "proclaimed offender" or fugitive in the case by the anti-terrorism court for failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto.
Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said earlier this week that the government would seek the court's permission to make public the findings of the probe into Bhutto's assassination.
It is believed the ruling Pakistan People's Party intends to release the material during events to mark Bhutto's death anniversary later this month as part of efforts to kick start its campaign for the general election scheduled for early next year.