Pervez Musharraf among 7 indicted in Benazir Bhutto murder case
RAWALPINDI: Pervez Musharraf among 7 indicted in Benazir Bhutto murder case.Seven accused including former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf has been indicted in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case on Tuesday 20th August 2013.
General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was brought to the Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) from sub-jail in Chak Shahzad in stiff security arrangements.
ATC Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rahman was hearing the case.
During the hearing, the eight-page charge sheet was read out to him, which Pervez Musharraf denied. He was charged for murder, terrorism and under Explosives Act, sources said.
Pervez Musharraf was indicted on three counts over the 2007 murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a public prosecutor said. “He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder,” Chaudhry Azhar told AFP.
The court after denial of the framed charges by Pervez Musharraf seeking evidence from the prosecutor adjourned the hearing until August 27.
Saud Aziz, Khurran Shahzad, Abdul Rashid, Sher Zaman, Rafaqat Hussain and Husnain Gul were the other accused also indicted in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.
The former military ruler returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile earlier this year and is currently under house arrest.
He came to power in 1999 when he ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. He ruled the country for nine years before being voted out and then he left Pakistan to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.
Upon his return he hoped that he could lead his party into elections, but was disqualified from standing and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power.
These include cases relating to the murder of a Baloch tribal leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, in 2006 and his attempt to sack the entire higher judiciary in November 2007.
Mr Sharif is now back in power, having emphatically won elections earlier this year.
His government has said that it also plans to put Mr Musharraf on trial for treason.
Ms Bhutto’s assassination at an election rally in Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007 was blamed by Mr Musharraf’s government on the Taliban.
A 2010 UN report said Benazir Bhutto’s death could have been prevented and that Mr Musharraf’s government failed to provide enough protection – at the time his aides dismissed the report as a “pack of lies”.
Ms Bhutto was the daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was himself executed in 1977 after being ousted in a coup. She was imprisoned shortly after that coup but went on to be twice elected prime minister.
In 2007 she came back to Pakistan after years abroad under a deal in which Mr Musharraf allowed her to return to take part in elections to be held in 2008.
But her assassination in a gun and bomb attack during the rally in Rawalpindi sparked massive protests and her Pakistan People’s Party won a resounding victory in the polls allowing her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, to take up the presidency.