U.N. delays report on Bhutto assassination

March 31, 2010 at 1:11 PM

UNITED NATIONS, March 31 (UPI) -- The United Nations granted a request from Pakistan to delay the release of a report from an investigation into the December 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

In July 2009, a U.N. commission headed by Chilean Envoy Heraldo Munoz began its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of the former Pakistani prime minster in Rawalpindi.

Bhutto was killed Dec. 27, 2007, following a campaign rally for her Pakistan People's Party before January 2008 parliamentary elections.

A court in Lahore in 2009 called on former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to hand over information on a case against him in connection with the Bhutto assassination. Bhutto was allegedly wary of Musharraf as she attempted to return to power in Pakistan.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said through his spokesman that he granted a last-minute plea to delay releasing the findings of the Munoz probe until April 15.

He added that "all relevant facts and circumstances" were explored in the probe and the report was "ready to be delivered."

Pakistani officials quoted in the Press Trust of India said Islamabad wanted the commission "to include in its report the comments of those three (unnamed) countries which had warned (Bhutto) on her return to Pakistan (in October 2007) that there were serious threats to her life and that she should take adequate precautionary measures."

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