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Central & South Asia
Pakistan court orders Musharraf assets seized
Former president says case against him is "most ridiculous" but will appear in court when he returns in March.
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2011 15:28
Musharraf has been living in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since 2008 [GALLO/GETTY]

A Pakistani court has ordered former president Pervez Musharraf's financial assets to be frozen and confiscated, a prosecutor said.

A hearing in Adiyala prison in the garrison town of Rawalpindi on Saturday ruled for his property to be confiscated and his Pakistani bank accounts to be frozen, Chaudhry Azhar, a public prosecutor, told the AFP news agency.

The hearing is adjourned until September 10, Azhar said.

Musharraf, the former military ruler, has been living in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since leaving office in 2008.

He is alleged to have been part of a "broad conspiracy" to have Benazir Bhutto, ex-premier and his political rival, killed in 2007 before presidential elections. 

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant in February over what they said was his failure to provide her with enough security.

The exact nature of the charges against him, however, has not so far been made clear.

Musharraf called the criminal case against him "most ridiculous", but said he will appear in court and answer questions when he return to Pakistan next March.

"This is a criminal case and it’s most ridiculous that my name has been added because I’m supposed to have been in charge or that I failed to provide security," Musharraf told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

"In this, I have to appear personally in court [as] it can not be done through any lawyer appearing in the court."

"Because of many other reasons I am outside the country and I don’t want to appear in the court but when I go on the 23rd of March, when I go back to Pakistan I certainly will go in and appear in the court and answer questions," he said.

Bhutto was shot dead on December 27, 2007 as she was leaving an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

At the time, Musharraf's government blamed Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban, for Bhutto's assassination.

Mehsud, who denied any involvement, was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009, one of the most high-profile casualties of the covert American campaign targeting al-Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Bhutto, who served two terms as prime minister, had returned from exile two months before she was killed to stand for election.

Her widower Asif Ali Zardari led her Pakistan People's Party to election victory in February 2008 and is now president.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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