Musharraf declared fugitive in ex-PM Bhutto's murder

Pakistan's former military ruler charged with Bhutto's 2007 assassination in 2013, but has been in self-imposed exile.

    Musharraf declared fugitive in ex-PM Bhutto's murder
    Bhutto died in a suicide and gun attack in 2007, weeks after she returned from exile to campaign in elections [AFP]

    A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto's murder trial, ordering his property confiscated, a court official said on Thursday.

    Musharraf was charged with Bhutto's 2007 assassination in 2013, but has been in self-imposed exile in Dubai ever since a travel ban was lifted three years later.

    The official said he had "absconded".

    The court also acquitted five men who had been accused of being Taliban fighters involved in the conspiracy to murder Bhutto, the Muslim world's first female prime minister, the official told AFP news agency.

    READ MORE: Remembering Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan

    However, it found two police officers guilty of "mishandling the crime scene", the court official said, adding they had each been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment and fined 500,000 rupees ($4,700).

    The verdicts are the first to be issued in the case, and come nearly 10 years after Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack during an election rally in Rawalpindi.

    Musharraf's government blamed the assassination on Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement. He was killed in a US drone attack in 2009.

    In 2010, a UN report accused Musharraf's government of failing to give Bhutto adequate protection and said her death could have been prevented.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.