The United Nations secretary-general has appointed a three-person commission to investigate the circumstances of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination in December 2007. The commission will begin its work on July 1.

In February, the government of Pakistan asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an international commission to investigate Mrs. Bhutto's assassination.

On Friday, Mr. Ban's spokeswoman, Michele Montas, announced that the three-person panel would be led by Chile's U.N. Ambassador, Heraldo Munoz. He will be assisted by Indonesia's former attorney general Marzuki Darusman, and Irish police expert Peter Fitzgerald.

Montas said the commission would start work on July 1. "The Commission's mandate will be to inquire into the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Prime Minister Bhutto. The duty to determine criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination remains with the Pakistani authorities," he said.

She said the commission will submit a report to the secretary-general within six months. He will then share it with the government of Pakistan and the U.N. Security Council.

Mrs. Bhutto was killed in a shooting and suicide bombing attack on her convoy as she left a campaign rally in the city of Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mesud has been accused of organizing the assassination, a charge his supporters deny.