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Ban To Extend Probe Into Bhutto Killing

Ban To Extend Independent Probe Into Bhutto Killing

New York, Dec 31 2009 4:10PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to extend the mandate of the independent United Nations commission charged with examining the facts and circumstances behind the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto by another three months, it was announced today.

According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban has informed both the Pakistani Government and Security Council of his intention to extend the Commission of Inquiry’s mandate, which began on 1 July.

The probe was due to submit its report today, but “because of the substantial amount of information collected by the Commission in Pakistan and further follow up work that remains, the Commissioners requested additional time to complete their report,” the Secretary-General said.

Set up following a request from the Pakistani Government, the Commission has met with dozens of individuals and made several trips to the South Asian nation.

After wrapping up its work, the probe will submit its report to Mr. Ban, who will also share it with the Government of Pakistan.

The Commission is headed by Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, and its other members are Marzuki Darusman, the former attorney-general of Indonesia, and Peter Fitzgerald, a veteran of the Irish National Police who has also served the UN in a number of capacities.

ENDS

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