KARACHI, Pakistan — Scotland Yard's report on the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto leaves a number of important questions unanswered:
- How could the British police team be certain about the cause of death in the absence of an autopsy and based solely on X-rays of Bhutto's head, the attending doctors' hurried notes and the accounts of family members to Pakistani police?
- Why didn't Pakistani authorities exercise their right in murder cases to order an autopsy after Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, refused to permit one?
- Several witness accounts spoke of a bullet wound in Bhutto's neck, but the X-rays and doctors' reports say nothing about her neck. The report says that a British pathologist couldn't "categorically" exclude a gunshot wound but that other unspecified evidence "suggests there is no gunshot injury."
- Who ordered the crime scene to be cleared and hosed down within two hours of the attack, destroying crucial forensic evidence?
- Why was there scant police protection and no security cordon as Bhutto left the Rawalpindi rally? Why were government-provided jammers that prevent cellular telephones from being used to trigger bombs apparently not working?
- On the night Bhutto died, doctors at the hospital first said that her death resulted from a bullet wound. What made them change their story to say that it was shrapnel?
- If, as the report says, Bhutto's head disappeared into the vehicle escape hatch 0.6 seconds before the blast, how did she collide with the hatch?
- Was the short distance that her head would have moved to hit the hatch capable of generating enough force to cause a fatal injury? A leaked Pakistani investigation report suggested that the distance was too short.
- Why were the biggest questions — who did it and why? — put off-limits to Scotland Yard?
McClatchy Newspapers 2008