Rawalpindi: (Web Desk)  After a decade long trial, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) announced the verdict in December 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, five accused said to be associated with banned outfit acquitted over lack of evidence, While former army chief Pervez Musharraf declared as absconder here on Thursday.

ATC Judge Asghar Khan announced the verdict.

The court also ordered confiscation of the movable and immovable property of Musharraf, who was implicated  in the case in February 2011.

The five suspects – Rafaqat Hussain, Hasnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rasheed were exonerated from the murder charges.

The court awarded imprisonment of 17 years to Saud Aziz, who was the city police chief at the time of the assassination of Bhutto, and Khurram Shahzad, former Superintendent of Police (SP) Rawal Town in Rawalpindi.

It also imposed a penalty of Rs500,000 each on both the convicts and ruled that  in case of non-payment of the fine they will have to undergo additional imprisonment of six months.

The court had earlier reserved verdict in the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Wednesday after the counsels of the suspects concluded their arguments.

The ATC has been hearing the case for last nine years since Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during a public gathering at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed disappointment at the verdict on the assassination of his mother.

Bilawal, through his twitter handle said that the case decision is disappointing and unacceptable.

He said that release of terrorists is not only unjust but also dangerous. He further said that party will explore legal options.

Daughter of Benazir Bhutto, Aseefa Zardari tweeted that There will be no justice till Pervez Musharraf answers for his crimes.

Aseefa Bhutto in an other tweet said, “10 years later and we still await justice. Abettors punished but those truly guilty of my mothers murder roam free.

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