Musharraf vows support for Scotland Yard in Bhutto death probe

By Xinhua

Islamabad : The detectives from Scotland Yard, now in Pakistan to assist with the probe into the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto, would be provided maximum support and information, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Saturday.

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“Maximum support and information would be provided to the Scotland Yard team for them to carry out the investigation independently,” local TV Dawn News quoted Musharraf as saying.

Bhutto died after inflicting lethal injuries in a gun and bomb attack on Dec. 27 as she left the Liaqat Bagh park in Rawalpindi shortly after addressing supporters there.

The six-member Scotland Yard team arrived in Islamabad Friday upon the request of Pakistan to help local investigation authorities facilitate the probe.

The government said Bhutto died fracturing her skull against the open sun roof as she tried to duck, an account rejected by members of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari, among others from PPP, had demanded an international investigation under the supervision of the United Nations, which the government rejected.

Zardari, who took over the leadership of the PPP after Bhutto’s death, urged the U.K. and the United States to endorse his demand for an UN investigation into Bhutto’s death.

The Scotland Yard team on Friday examined the bullet-proof vehicle that carried Bhutto when she was attacked, and on Saturday afternoon arrived at the Liaqat Bagh park in Rawalpindi, the site of Bhutto’s assassination nine days earlier.

They were expected to visit Rawalpindi General Hospital later on Saturday, where Bhutto died after inflicting lethal injuries.

Certain members of Pakistan People’s Party had accused “elements in the government” of having a hand in the incident.

Musharraf vehemently denied any indication of government involvement in the incident, arguing it had nothing to gain.

The Interior Ministry said Saturday the Scotland Yard detectives would be provided all documents, videos and photographs of the last moments of the public meeting addressed by Bhutto.

“There will be no influence on the detectives of Scotland Yard,” said Javed Iqbal Raja, an interior ministry spokesman.