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'Malik should step down from office to ensure Benazir Bhutto's independent murder probe'

Islamabad, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 17(ANI): The Pakistan Supreme Court has advised suspects in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, to step down from public office to enable an independent probe into the issue.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Tariq Pervez and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, also said that a second FIR needs to be registered in the case, as the first did not include names of some key suspects, including Rehman Malik.

"How can a sub-inspector have enough courage to probe someone at the helm of affairs?" The Express Tribune quoted Justice Chaudhary, as saying.

The PPP-led government and the court noted that Malik and another federal minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi were opposing the registration of a second FIR.

Justice Chaudhary told Rehman Malik's lawyer that his client should appear before the court to clear his position as a suspect

Mansoor replied that his client was ready to present himself, but Chaudhary then observed that, at the end of the day, a fair probe was not possible till the accused held the government office.

No counsel appeared on behalf of former law minister Babar Awan. The case was adjourned till April 24. (ANI)

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