Pakistan: UN assessment team arrives ahead of Bhutto probe

8 April 2009

A United Nations technical assessment mission has arrived in Pakistan to carry out preparatory work for the fact-finding commission being set up to look into the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a spokesperson for the world body said today.

In February, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his intention to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry into the killing, following a request from the Pakistani Government.

“I can inform you that the technical assessment mission has arrived in Pakistan, and will return back to New York after a few days to report to the Secretary-General,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters at UN Headquarters.

The three-member Commission of Inquiry, which will be led by Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, will have a mandate of a maximum of six months.

In a letter sent to the Security Council in February, Mr. Ban noted that it has been agreed that the probe should be “fact-finding in nature,” not expanding into a criminal investigation. The duty of determining criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination should remain with the Pakistani authorities, he added.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Ban to set up independent probe into assassination of former Pakistani leader

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will establish an independent Commission of Inquiry to determine the facts and circumstances of the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.