Musharraf granted bail in Bhutto murder case

Pakistan's former military ruler ordered to pay bonds of about $20,000 but release is not guaranteed amid other cases.

    Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, shown here in a file photo, was granted bail on Monday [AFP]
    Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, shown here in a file photo, was granted bail on Monday [AFP]

    Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been granted bail in the case against him for alleged involvement in the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

    The Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad issued the bail order on Monday for Musharraf, who has been detained in his farmhouse on the edge of Islamabad since April 19 on charges of conspiracy to murder two-time prime minister Bhutto, who was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack in 2007 in Rawalpindi.

    Judge Habibur Rehman said Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 after seizing power in a coup, would have to pay two bonds worth one million rupees ($10,000) each.

    The bail does not grant his automatic release as he also faces legal cases, including one over the 2006 death of a Baluch rebel leader.

    But the ruling "certainly paves the way for his exit," said Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad. 

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

    Musharraf returned from exile in Dubai in March to stand in last week's general election, promising to "save" the country from violence and economic collapse, but was barred from running over charges dating back to his time in power.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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