UN Bhutto inquiry to last 6 months, not to launch criminal proceedings

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the Bhutto inquiry on Wednesday during a visit to Islamabad.

UN Bhutto inquiry to last 6 months, not to launch criminal proceedings
A U.N. inquiry into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto will last just six months and will not launch criminal proceedings, according to details released on Thursday.

That will make it much less far-reaching than an existing probe by the world body of the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, which is expected to lead to a U.N.-organized trial in The Hague.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the Bhutto inquiry on Wednesday during a visit to Islamabad. Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack in December 2007.

In a letter to the Security Council, Ban said that after discussions with Pakistan's government and council members it had been agreed that an international commission would simply seek to determine the facts and circumstances of the killing.

The commission's mandate would be for a maximum of six months and "would not extend to carrying out a criminal investigation," Ban said. It would be up to Pakistan to determine criminal responsibility, he added.

The commission will consist of three "eminent personalities," whom Ban is expected to name shortly. It will start work once funding has been arranged, Ban said.

Terms of reference attached to Ban's letter stipulate that Pakistan will ensure freedom of movement for the commission throughout the country and provide protection for people who supply it with information.

The much more elaborate Hariri investigation began after his assassination in February 2005. The Hague court is due to start operations next month although no suspects have so far been named and investigations are expected to continue for the time being.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2009, 14:56
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