Musharraf indicted in Bhutto murder case
Rawalpindi, August 20, 2013
A court in Pakistan has formally indicted former military dictator Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday with the murder of former premier Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007.
"He should be tried," the public prosecutor, Mohammad Azhar, told reporters after a brief hearing in the city of Rawalpindi during which the three charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and facilitation of murder were read out to Musharraf.
The indictment of the army chief who seized power in a 1999 coup - once Pakistan's most powerful man - is an unprecedented event in a nuclear-armed country ruled by the military for half of its 66-year history.
The case has also shattered an unwritten rule that the top military brass are untouchable as the South Asian country tries to shake off the legacy of decades of military rule under the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Musharraf, who made no public remarks during his appearance, denied all the charges against him, a lawyer from his defence team told Reuters. Journalists were not allowed in the court room for the hearing which lasted just about 20 minutes.
"All the cases against Musharraf are fabricated. He denied all the charges," said Afshan Adil, the lawyer. The next hearing was set for August 27.
Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack after an election rally, weeks after she returned to Pakistan from years in self-imposed exile.
The government at the time blamed Pakistani Taliban militants and Musharraf has said he warned her of the danger she faced.
Hundreds of police were deployed along the main road leading to the court as well as on rooftops as Musharraf's car arrived.
On August 6, the court delayed the widely expected indictment because it was too dangerous for Musharraf to attend the proceedings. -Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea
- Saudi sentences three to death for 2003 bombing
- First bitcoin machine opens in UK
- US sanctions will boomerang, warns Russia
- China plans $50bn bank to fund projects
- Sony to sell Tokyo 'birthplace'
- Obama orders sanctions over Russian moves
- Crimea parliament votes to join Russia
- Arab League to be revamped
- 'Upskirting' is legal: Massachusetts court
- Singapore probes 'unnatural' death of bitcoin trader
- Onus on world powers for Syria war crimes: UN
- US, Russia set for talks on Ukraine crisis
- Brent oil drops below $109
- Services outshine manufacturing, pushing up jobs
- Bitcoin bank shut down after hacker attack
- India to kick off world's biggest poll on April 7
- China signals focus on reforms
- Hundreds ready for bitcoin exchange class action
- Space taxi, Jupiter mission in Obama budget
- Putin: Use of force last resort in Ukraine
- Powers to boost Lebanese military, economy
- Egypt bans Hamas activities in Egypt
- Putin ends army exercise, markets rally
- Russia has violated international law: Obama
- Russian markets hit as Putin tightens grip on Crimea
- Iran nuclear deal 'being implemented as planned'