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Musharraf’s House Arrest Extended by 14 Days

by AFP
Former President Pervez Musharraf is escorted by soldiers, April 2013. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Court will resume hearing on May 28.

A Pakistani antiterrorism court on Tuesday extended former president Pervez Musharraf’s house arrest over the murder of Benazir Bhutto for 14 days, a prosecutor said.

The court in Rawalpindi also put off hearing a bail application by Musharraf until May 20, added Chaudhry Azhar. “The court extended Musharraf’s judicial remand until May 28 when it hears the case again,” he said, adding that the adjournment came after Musharraf’s lawyer Salman Safdar could not attend the hearing.

This was the first hearing after the state prosecutor handling Bhutto’s 2007 murder and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, was shot dead in Islamabad en route to court on May 3.

Musharraf is accused of conspiracy to murder two-time prime minister Bhutto, whose Pakistan Peoples Party was elected into power in February 2008 on a wave of sympathy over her death. Musharraf’s government blamed the killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement and was killed in a U.S. drone attack in 2009.

Musharraf returned from exile in March to stand in the May 11 general elections, but he was barred from running over charges dating back to his 1999-2008 rule. His party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, announced it would boycott the polls in protest. However, flouting the ban, two of his supporters contested the polls from Chitral and won seats in the National Assembly and the provincial assembly, respectively.

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