Musharraf put on remand over Bhutto killing

Pakistani court orders three-day house arrest on ex-army ruler over murder of former PM Benazir Bhutto.

    Musharraf was first attached to the killing by the Anti-Terrorism Court in February 2011  [Reuters]
    Musharraf was first attached to the killing by the Anti-Terrorism Court in February 2011 [Reuters]

    A Pakistani court has ordered a three-day house arrest on former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the murder of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto more than five years ago, a prosecutor has said.

    Musharraf appeared in court on Friday in the garrison city of Rawalpindi for his remand hearing under tight security a day after being formally arrested. He is accused of conspiracy to murder Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007.

    "We requested a three-day remand of retired general Pervez Musharraf and judge Chaudhry Habib-ur Rehman gave a three-day remand and adjourned the case until Monday," prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP news agency.

    The retired general is already serving a two-week house arrest, set to expire on May 4, for sacking judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007 and will serve the fresh order concurrently.

    Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said: "His lawyers have said the former military ruler did not act alone, he had collaborators and abettors.

    The court wants to see them, our correspondent said.

    "But that would be tantamount to opening a pandora’s box so close to an election, which is just two weeks away."

    "It will be the responsibility of the new elected government to deal with this important issue.

    "He has admirers no doubt. Many of the powerful political parties were all on board with the former military ruler."

    Musharraf would remain at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse residence in the capital, which has been converted into a jub-jail.

    Since his return to Pakistan in a bid to contest the 2013 general election, Musharraf has been dealing with a number of legal cases against him, including the detention of judges and treason.

    He is also barred from running in next month's general election on May 11 and has been threatened with death by the Taliban.

    Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, while Musharraf was president.

    She was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the city.

    The ATC (Anti-Terrorism Court) had indicted Musharraf in the case in February 2011, and in August the same year he was declared a proclaimed offender and his property was attached because of his absence.

    Musharraf's government blamed Bhutto's killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement. Mahsud was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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