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Pakistan court acquits Bhutto's widower in murder case PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2008

REUTERS, KARACHI - A Pakistani court acquitted Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in the murder of his estranged brother-in-law on Tuesday, his lawyer said.

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of the late former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in Islamabad in this February 20, 2008 file photo. A Pakistani court acquitted Zardari in the murder of his estranged brother-in-law on Tuesday, his lawyer said. Pakistani courts in recent weeks have quashed a raft of corruption charges against Zardari, raising speculation that he could contest a by-election as a step towards becoming prime minister.

But he has shown no current interest in a parliamentary seat and last month nominated a close aide to his deceased wife as prime minister.

The Sindh High Court gave the verdict on an application filed by Zardari, requesting exoneration from the murder of Murtaza Bhutto.

"We had filed a petition in the honorable court arguing that there were no evidence against Mr Zardari so the decision should be given in our favour" Shahadat Awan, Zardari's lawyer, told Reuters.

Murtaza, Bhutto's younger brother, was gunned down in 1996 in the southern city of Karachi while his sister was in power. Zardari, who became the political successor to his wife after her death and led the Pakistan People's Party to victory in Feb. 18 elections, was accused of conspiring to murder Murtaza.

He has long denied the charge. Zardari, who spent 11 years in jail awaiting trial, but was never convicted. Bhutto also faced corruption cases which were dropped after her assassination in a gun and bomb attack on Dec. 27.

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