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Extra resources for Bhutto, trial and execution

Sample text

All the offences with which the accused are charged are thus proved to the hilt,’ said the judgment. Bhutto’s complaints against the court were ‘imaginary and false’. Bhutto was sentenced to death for conspiracy to murder Kasuri, resulting in the death of his father; seven years’ imprisonment for the attempt to murder Kasuri; five years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy to kill Kasuri, since although he had not been killed, the conspiracy was still there. A fine of 25,000 rupees was imposed automatically with the death sentence as compensation to the family of the deceased (failure to pay being punishable by a further six months’ rigorous imprisonment).

The fact that five Punjabi judges condemned a Sindhi to ‘hang by the neck until he die’ weighed heavily on the hearts of the Sindhis, ever mindful of the dominant position of the Punjab in Pakistan. Whereas many believed that such a severe penalty could not be inflicted on a man who not only had been the former Prime Minister, but also on a man whose trial was questionable and who had boycotted it, it did not come as a surprise to those who had been close to the proceedings. Bhutto had been forewarned of the verdict by his advocate.

He was troubled constantly by his teeth, with sore and infected gums, and this affected his general health. During the later stages of the appeal he made the pronouncement not so much that he was on hunger strike, but that he simply could not eat. He often became giddy and faint with exhaustion. The bouts of influenza and malaria, as well as the colonic trouble he suffered from in Kot Lakhpat he believed were never properly treated, with the result that he did not completely recover. Throughout his confinement he was constantly pleading to be taken to a hospital for a proper medical examination.

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