Benazir Bhutto’s BlackBerry phones found

Friday, February 4, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Investigators probing the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto said they have found two BlackBerry mobile phones belonging to the slain leader.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recovered the phones from a servant at Bhutto’s family residence in Karachi, the Dawn reported Friday.

The phones were used by Abdul Razzaq, a servant of Benazir’s husband and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, the FIA sources said, adding that the devices will help investigators get some credible clues in the 2007 murder case.

Benazir was killed Dec 27, 2007 after being shot at an election rally in Rawalpindi.

The sets may also help the investigators to know if Bhutto received a call after leaving the rally while her vehicle was surrounded by supporters and if the caller asked her to come out of the sunroof and wave to the fans, the investigators said.

A close aide of Bhutto, who was with her in her vehicle during her last moments, said that people accompanying Bhutto had advised her against looking out of the vehicle but she came out of the sunroof and was shot by a terrorist.

The aide, however, said the slain leader had only one BlackBerry at the time of her assassination.

An official said the phones, handed over by Zardari’s Bilawal House administration in Karachi “voluntarily”, had been sent for forensic examination.

“The findings of the forensic examination will be shared with the interior ministry,” FIA Director General Waseem Ahmed told Dawn.

“We were approached by the Bilalwal House staff for the purpose. They had these two phones. There has been no arrest in this connection,” he added.

A spokesman for the Bilawal House said handing over the two phones was “part of the effort under the directives of President Zardari to cooperate with the investigation agencies assigned the task to trace the killers”.

The phones were not given to the UN investigators who had submitted their report on the murder to Pakistani government last year.

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