ARM   RUS   ENG

Former Pakistani leader Musharraf charged with 2007 assassination of ex-PM

A Pakistani court on Tuesday indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges in connection with the 2007 assassination of iconic Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, deepening the fall of a once-powerful figure who returned to the country this year to make a political comeback.

The decision by a court in Rawalpindi marks the first time Musharraf, or any former army chief in Pakistan, has been charged with a crime. 

Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup and stepped down from office in disgrace nearly a decade later, now faces a litany of legal problems that have in many ways broken taboos on the inviolability of the once-sacrosanct military in Pakistani society. He is currently under house arrest in connection with one of the cases against him.

The retired general has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation for murder, said prosecutor Chaudry Muhammed Azhar. He did not specify what exactly Musharraf was accused of doing but prosecutors have previously accused him of failing to provide enough protection to Bhutto.

The former army commando appeared in person during the brief morning hearing, and pleaded not guilty, said Afshan Adil, a member of Musharraf’s legal team.

“These are all fabricated cases. There is nothing solid in all these case,” she said.

Bhutto was killed in 2007 during a gun and bomb attack at a rally in the city of Rawalpindi, the sister city to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Prosecutors have said that Musharraf, who was president at the time, failed to properly protect her.

Bhutto is the daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was himself executed in 1977 after being deposed in a coup. His daughter is widely respected in Pakistan for her political commitment — she was jailed multiple times — and her condemnation of militancy and support for Pakistan’s poor.

She returned to Pakistan under a deal with Musharraf allowing her to take part in upcoming elections, and his supporters point to the deal as proof that he had no objections to her return.

Her assassination set off a wave of protests across the country and helped propel her Pakistan People’s Party to office and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, to the presidency.

The judge set August 27 as the next court date to present evidence.

Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March after nearly four years outside the country and vowed to take part in the country’s May elections. But he has little popular support in Pakistan and ever since his return has faced a litany of legal problems related to his rule.

Musharraf has repeatedly vowed that he returned to lead his supporters in the election and that he would clear his name of all charges. But many questioned why Musharraf decided to come back considering the legal problems he’d be facing and his almost non-existent popularity.

His return and legal troubles have put the military and newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a delicate position. Pakistan has undergone three coups since the country’s inception in 1947, and the military is considered the most powerful institution.

The military’s top leadership is not believed to have supported Musharraf’s return from exile but they also would likely not want to see one of their own put behind bars or treated unfairly.

The case is also part of a strange changing of places for Sharif and Musharraf. It was Sharif who was deposed by Musharraf in 1999, and then forced into exile. But Sharif eventually returned to Pakistan, waited out five years in opposition and then led his Pakistan Muslim League-N to a resounding victory in the May 11 elections.

Sharif must tread carefully with the man who once put him in handcuffs. The new prime minister has his plate full of other problems and pushing aggressively for Musharraf’s conviction could force a confrontation with the military that Sharif would prefer to avoid.

Musharraf has been confined to his house on the outskirts of Islamabad, and was brought to court Tuesday amid tight security.

In addition to the Bhutto case, Musharraf is involved in a case related to the 2007 detention of judges and the death of a Baluch nationalist leader. The government is also pursuing a treason case against him in connection with the judges’ detention case.

Musharraf has faced threats from the Pakistani Taliban who tried to assassinate him twice while he was in office and vowed to try again if he returned.
 

20.08.13, 14:10


In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the editor by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Share |




Newsline

18:52 • 28/01, Aghvan Vardanyan elected ARFD Supreme Body representative

18:29 • 28/01, Hearing of Perincek vs Switzerland case takes place at ECHR

18:00 • 28/01, President: Attempts to terrorize those who went through hell are not serious

17:36 • 28/01, Group of servicemen receive state awards on Army Day

16:51 • 28/01, Hovik Abrahamyan: Armenian army is most efficient in region

16:14 • 28/01, M. Hakobyan: Azerbaijan may show activity every day, it means nothing

15:30 • 28/01, B. Sahakyan: Glory to those who contributed to formation of strong army

13:19 • 28/01, Armenian political and military leaders visit Yerablur Military Cemetery

12:46 • 28/01, Seyran Ohanyan: Armenian troops are in control of border situation

12:36 • 28/01, ChI: Baghdasaryan promises to compensate for wage arrears by posts

12:00 • 28/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Levon Mkrtchyan to be ambassador to Germany

11:19 • 28/01, Azerbaijan violates ceasefire 300 times, fires 7000 shots

10:41 • 28/01, HZh: Permyakov should face trial in Armenia, IC head’s brother says

21:16 • 27/01, 'Creation of confidence mechanisms is precondition for success in talks'

20:52 • 27/01, Iranian foreign minister: EEU is an opportunity to develop cooperation

20:37 • 27/01, Armenian president, Iranian FM discuss cooperation prospects

20:20 • 27/01, Nalbandyan: Solution of Iran nuclear problem is in all countries’ interests

19:54 • 27/01, Azerbaijani saboteurs intend to apply to Karabakh court of appeal

19:25 • 27/01, Defense minister: There is no need to appeal to CSTO

19:00 • 27/01, Ohanyan: If necessary we can turn enemy territory into hotspot

18:43 • 27/01, Poland prepared to assist development of Armenia-EU relations

18:14 • 27/01, Ohanyan: Internal investigation launched after helicopter incident

17:40 • 27/01, Serzh Sargsyan: Armenian nation empathizes pain of Jewish people.

16:48 • 27/01, Hovik Abrahamyan receives Iran’s foreign minister

16:00 • 27/01, ' Sharp decisions necessary – respect ceasefire or compel enemy to peace'

14:45 • 27/01, S. Ohanyan: Armenian forces managed to win on all fronts

14:05 • 27/01, Shirak province lawyers ready to help relatives of family killed in Gyumri

13:34 • 27/01, Precipitation expected in Armenia on January 29

13:00 • 27/01, Azerbaijan fires over 4,500 shots at Karabakh positions

12:28 • 27/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Permyakov wasn’t acquainted with Avetisyans

11:53 • 27/01, Aravot: Protest to be held outside OSCE Office in Yerevan on Jan. 29

11:05 • 27/01, Hraparak: Taron Margaryan attends wedding of ex-mayor’s son

10:30 • 27/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Trade declined 13% in Armenia in December 2014

20:38 • 26/01, Gagik Makaryan: Armenian exporters incur losses

20:18 • 26/01, Investigators examine scenario that Permyakov did not act alone

19:53 • 26/01, Moscow court to examine complaint on L. Hayrapetyan arrest extension

19:30 • 26/01, Artsrun Hovhannisyan: Armenian troops took preemptive actions

18:54 • 26/01, Deputy police chief: Grave crimes on rise in Armenia

18:29 • 26/01, Political scientist: We should demand tougher, sharper actions from CSTO

17:44 • 26/01, Hunan Poghosyan: Permyakov was detected by Russian border guards

17:00 • 26/01, Armenian president: There are all possible scenarios on my table

16:13 • 26/01, NKR Defense Ministry: 3 Azerbaijani servicemen killed, 2 wounded

15:42 • 26/01, James Warlick to meet Azerbaijani FM in Poland

15:07 • 26/01, Small and medium business representatives protest at government

14:37 • 26/01, Protesters refuse to meet with Prime Minister Abrahamyan

13:49 • 26/01, Levon Aronyan completes Tata Steel tournament with 5.5 points

13:20 • 26/01, Iranian foreign minister to visit Armenia

12:44 • 26/01, Nalbandyan: Turkey had opportunity to ratify protocols in last 5-6 years

12:19 • 26/01, Defense ministry: Situation relatively calm on Armenia-Azerbaijan border

11:55 • 26/01, All motorways passable in Armenia

11:37 • 26/01, Greece election: Anti-austerity Syriza wins election

11:19 • 26/01, Israel’s President turns down invitation to meet with Obama

11:06 • 26/01, Eighteen killed in Egypt protests marking uprising

10:55 • 26/01, Rocket, mortar fire pounds Damascus, rebels seize Deraa base

10:32 • 26/01, Kobani 90 percent free from IS militants, Peshmerga forces report

10:15 • 26/01, Strategic city falls in Nigeria's battle against Boko Haram

19:34 • 24/01, Vahan Shirkhanyan: Azerbaijan’s actions are guided by Turkey

18:07 • 24/01, Azerbaijani saboteur D, Askerov may appeal to NKR president for pardon

17:21 • 24/01, Defense Army: Azerbaijan made over 20 subversive attempts in past week

16:36 • 24/01, Catholicos Aram I arrives in Armenia

16:01 • 24/01, Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan fired over 600 shots in one day

15:30 • 24/01, Azerbaijan should shut down Internet, Artsrun Hovhannisyan suggests

14:09 • 24/01, Hospital head: Wounded soldier in very grave condition

13:37 • 24/01, Changes in Armenian delegation to PACE

13:00 • 24/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: 24.2% inflation in Armenia in past 4 years

12:24 • 24/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Permyakov questioning video viewed 279,000 times

11:53 • 24/01, Hraparak: ARFD members may go into cabinet

11:07 • 24/01, Chorrord Ishkhanutyun: Armenian MFA remains silent

10:32 • 24/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Government tries to get large loan

22:06 • 23/01, Tigran Sargsyan meets Congressman Adam Schiff

21:08 • 23/01, DM: Enemy sniper group commander hit by Armenian woman’s bullet

20:42 • 23/01, Warlick urges two presidents to stop violence on Line of Contact

20:18 • 23/01, Ministers of defense and emergency situations visit Tavush province

20:07 • 23/01, Lernik Aleksanyan: No need for CSTO intervention

19:52 • 23/01, City carriers demand fuel delivery at cost price

18:53 • 23/01, Karen Petrosyan’s post-mortem examination results received

18:13 • 23/01, Wounded soldier’s life out of danger after surgery

17:54 • 23/01, Gagik Tsarukyan-initiated conference due on February 5

17:10 • 23/01, Hunchakian Party youth to stage march against Azerbaijani actions

16:38 • 23/01, Vahan Babayan: CSTO shall react to Azerbaijan’s aggression

16:00 • 23/01, A. Hovhannisyan: Situation on border of Armenia and NKR remains tense

15:25 • 23/01, Soldier charged with Gyumri mass murder to undergo psych evaluation

13:21 • 23/01, NKR Defense Ministry: Subversive act foiled. 3 Azeri servicemen killed

12:34 • 23/01, Azerbaijan attempts new subversion. 2 Armenian servicemen killed

11:21 • 23/01, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies

11:11 • 23/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: Investigative Committee spent $10K on ID cards

11:04 • 23/01, Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra to be charged over rice scheme

10:40 • 23/01, Hraparak: Inter-clan clashes may start again in Gyumri

10:22 • 23/01, Pentagon to cooperate with Japan over IS holding Japanese hostages

10:04 • 23/01, Yemen president quits, throwing country deeper into chaos

09:45 • 23/01, US prosecutors open case against alleged prominent al-Qaeda figure

09:29 • 23/01, Search for AirAsia crash victims may be ended on January 27

09:11 • 23/01, Haykakan Zhamanak: No change in VAT on imports

23:31 • 22/01, Investigative Committee releases video of Permyakov’s questioning

22:43 • 22/01, Martun Grigoryan: Situation is calm in Gyumri, people wait

21:58 • 22/01, Kostanyan urges MPs not to politicize legal processes

21:05 • 22/01, Levon Julfalakyan hospitalized, undergoes stent procedure

20:48 • 22/01, 'Permyakov case should not be linked to Armenian-Russian relations’

19:33 • 22/01, Arman Udumyan posthumously awarded Medal for Combat Service

19:19 • 22/01, Armenia bans imports of a number of Chinese goods