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Pak court indicts Musharraf in Bhutto assassination case

The 70-year-old former President was brought under heavy security to the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad |
August 21, 2013 1:25:52 am

In an unprecedented move against a former Pakistani army chief,an anti-terrorism court Tuesday indicted ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf on charges of murder and conspiracy in the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf was charged with murder,conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of the murder of the two-time former premier along with seven other co-accused. This is the first time a former military ruler or an army chief has been indicted in a murder case in Pakistan,which has been ruled by the military for most of its 66-year history.

The 70-year-old former President was brought under heavy security to the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi. If convicted,he can be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

State prosecutor Chaudhry Muhammad Azhar confirmed that Judge Habibur Rehman read the chargesheet in the presence of Musharraf and two other accused,former Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad.

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“Musharraf denied the allegation today in court,” Aasia Ishaq,spokesperson for his All Pakistan Muslim League,told PTI. She said the charges against Musharraf were “politically motivated” and a legal team will continue to defend him. Ishaq said the court has fixed the next hearing on August 27 and Musharraf will face the trial.

‘Pak Army Chief had doubts on role of Taliban’

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had expressed doubts about a claim by the Pervez Musharraf regime that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the Pakistani Taliban,a UN investigator has said.

The then government had based its claim on a phone intercept of a conversation between slain Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and another man. Kayani said the government’s press conference had been “premature”.

One cannot conclude culpability solely on a phone intercept,Kayani has been quoted as saying by Chilean diplomat Heraldo Munoz in his new book “Getting Away With Murder”,excerpts from which were released Monday.

Munoz led a UN panel that investigated the murder. PTI

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