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

18:40 • TODAY, "No Armenian,can be our friend after what we have done to them". Talaat. Ambassador Morgenthau's story,

18:21 • TODAY, First Session of the Organizing Committee of the IPA CIS Forum of Regions is Held

18:06 • TODAY, Brad Pitt bruised and battered with mystery injuries as he talks at autism event in Hollywood

17:49 • TODAY, Armenian FM: Turkey does not understand international community’s language

17:30 • TODAY, Temperatures to rise by 4-7 degrees

17:13 • TODAY, Nalbandian: Negotiation process continues

16:53 • TODAY, Armenian Genocide was elaborated plan with racist motives

16:28 • TODAY, Grigor Kyokchyan to represent Armenia at New Wave 2015 song contest

16:11 • TODAY, Turkish TV airs Tsitsernakaberd events instead of Gallipoli commemorations

15:55 • TODAY, Serzh Sargsyan offers condolences to Nepalese President

15:38 • TODAY, OSCE conducts monitoring along Line of Contact

15:12 • TODAY, Zhengyalov Hatz Festival in Tsaghkashat

14:55 • TODAY, FM Nalbandian hosts Sweden Parliament’s Armenian deputy speaker

14:37 • TODAY, Rediscovered Francis Bacon portraits up for auction

14:20 • TODAY, Leftist Akıncı wins north Cyprus election, seeking peace deal

14:13 • TODAY, Why is UK government so afraid to speak of Armenian genocide? – The Guardian

14:03 • TODAY, Book ‘Writer-victims of the Armenian Genocide’ published

13:46 • TODAY, The Armenian Cause has become a political factor. Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan

13:30 • TODAY, In marking Armenian tragedy, Rivlin skirts term ‘genocide’

13:12 • TODAY, Istanbul hosts Armenian Genocide conference

12:55 • TODAY, Football: Chelsea boss Mourinho claims Arsenal are the boring ones

12:45 • TODAY, Thousands rally in Times Square to mark centennial of Armenian genocide

12:30 • TODAY, Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev declared winner in presidential poll

12:12 • TODAY, Kim Kardashian's Armenian Genocide Remembrance Is Powerful And Enlightening

11:52 • TODAY, Hidden Armenians of Turkey Seek to Reclaim Their Erased Identities

11:34 • TODAY, Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed are married! Stars 'tie the knot in actor's hometown'

11:18 • TODAY, Armenian genocide: why Obama won't say the words

10:55 • TODAY, Making Amends for the Armenian Genocide. Newsweek

10:37 • TODAY, System Of A Down Singer on Armenian Genocide: ‘We’re Still Here, We’re Still Alive.’

10:19 • TODAY, Mount Auburn offers memories on anniversary of Armenian genocide

10:00 • TODAY, 100th anniversary of Armenian massacre marked worldwide

15:52 • 25/04, Kim Kardashian: ‘Disappointing’ Obama Won’t Acknowledge Armenian ‘Genocide’

15:32 • 25/04, Turkey wrestles with century-old legacy of Armenian massacres

15:12 • 25/04, Belgian FM to visit Armenia

14:58 • 25/04, Israel’s President Endorses Pope’s Comments on Armenian Genocide

14:40 • 25/04, Armenian President thanks Putin for his warm speech at Genocide remembrance ceremony

14:22 • 25/04, Can Turkey come to terms with its brutal past?

13:59 • 25/04, 100,000 march from Hollywood to Turkish Consulate on anniversary of 1915 Armenian Genocide

13:42 • 25/04, European Movement adopts resolution on Armenian Genocide

13:24 • 25/04, Armenian Groups Are Increasingly Focused on Reparations for Genocide

13:04 • 25/04, Turkish plane makes emergency landing

12:45 • 25/04, I Am Dismayed at the British Government's Refusal to Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide

12:27 • 25/04, The Memory That’s Crippling Armenia

12:11 • 25/04, 12,000 ceasefire violations reported on Line of Contact

11:54 • 25/04, New York City Mayor: Today we honor those who perished in Armenian genocide 100 years ago

11:32 • 25/04, Raffi Hovannisian, Joseph Daul discuss Heritage’s new initiatives

11:15 • 25/04, Temperatures to rise by 7-9 degrees

10:57 • 25/04, Turkey foreign ministry condemns Putin’s words on Armenian Genocide

10:40 • 25/04, Armenian Genocide commemoration events to be held in a number of countries

10:21 • 25/04, On April 24 English Wikipedia’s picture of the day was dedicated to Armenian Genocide

10:02 • 25/04, Powerful earthquake strikes Nepal: Damage reported

09:43 • 25/04, Remembering the Armenian Genocide. Descendants of survivors — Turks and Armenians — share their families' stories

09:25 • 25/04, Armenian genocide survivors' stories: 'My dreams cannot mourn'

09:13 • 25/04, Kim Kardashian West: Armenian Genocide Victims ‘Should Never Be Forgotten’

20:40 • 24/04, "The Armenian Genocide: Stolen Homeland". Special project

20:19 • 24/04, Here's what happened during the Armenian genocide and why Turkey denies it

20:02 • 24/04, PACE urges Turkey to recognize Armenian Genocide

19:49 • 24/04, BBC coverage of commemoration of Armenian Genocide

19:38 • 24/04, Armenian Genocide Centennial marked on Capitol Hill

19:15 • 24/04, SIRUSHO. Where were you. New Song

19:00 • 24/04, There has been shooting all along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border

18:43 • 24/04, Black wreath placed in front of Agos

18:28 • 24/04, Kim Kardashian: We won't give up, we will be recognized by all soon

18:09 • 24/04, Romanian President calls for ‘recognition of Armenians' historical tragedy

17:50 • 24/04, ‘I apologize for my leaders not having courage to recognize Armenian Genocide’

17:34 • 24/04, Serzh Sargsyan: I refuse to believe that history controls our destiny

17:23 • 24/04, Famous footballer Dani Alves demands Armenian Genocide recognition

17:09 • 24/04, Erdogan: Turkey shares Armenians' pain for 'sorrowful events' of 1915

16:52 • 24/04, Ten young people from Artsakh make pilgrimage to Tsitsernakaberd

16:35 • 24/04, Armenians in Baghdad hold protest march to Turkish Embassy

16:17 • 24/04, Global Forum's Declaration read during Armenian Genocide Centenntial Commemoration

15:57 • 24/04, Had UN Genocide Convention existed 1915 the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman state could have been judged as GENOCIDE

15:42 • 24/04, Presidents of four countries visit Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute

15:19 • 24/04, Armenian Genocide. “100 years later: Breaking the Silence”. 100 fates - 100 demands

14:57 • 24/04, Bitter memories of genocide have not darkened souls of our people

14:40 • 24/04, Today we mourn with Armenian people. Putin

14:18 • 24/04, Armenia and Cyprus are victims of impunity. Nicos Anastasiades

14:00 • 24/04, François Hollande: Recognition of Armenian Genocide is an act of peace

13:43 • 24/04, We must find solutions before humankind once more breaks its “never again” vow. Serzh Sargsyan

13:23 • 24/04, Armenian Genocide centenary: Candlelight vigil held outside White House

13:07 • 24/04, Aznavour: Presidents of countries should visit Armenia every day

12:49 • 24/04, Erdogan: Turkey ready to open military archives

12:29 • 24/04, Canadian Prime Minister issues address to Armenian community

12:11 • 24/04, Torchlight procession in Samtskhe-Javakheti: Participants call on Georgian authorities to recognize Armenian Genocide

11:53 • 24/04, Tens of thousands of Armenians to take part in events and protest in Los Angeles on April 24

11:37 • 24/04, 100 years after Armenian Genocide, Lebanon’s Armenians demand US recognition, apology from Turkey

11:22 • 24/04, Our struggle does not end in 2015 – it will just enter a more mature phase. Serzh Sargsyan

11:01 • 24/04, Ukraine Verkhovna Rada members honor Armenian Genocide victims with minute of silence

10:43 • 24/04, James Warlick: We mourn for all victims

10:33 • 24/04, Official delegations heading to Armenian Genocide Memorial Tsitsernakaberd

10:28 • 24/04, Obama again bows to Turkish pressure in his April 24 statement

10:11 • 24/04, Armenian people never lost hope and faith and became stronger and wiser

09:51 • 24/04, Garry Kasparov: Armenian Genocide is mother of all genocides of 20th century

09:35 • 24/04, Is this genocide? What four Americans saw happening to Armenians 100 years ago

09:25 • 24/04, Delegation led by French President arrives in Yerevan

09:18 • 24/04, Commemoration Day of Armenian Genocide victims

09:00 • 24/04, Rock legend remembers genocide centenary

08:51 • 24/04, Putin arrives in Yerevan to participate in Genocide centenary events. PHOTOS

20:21 • 23/04, Steve Jobs took the Armenian Genocide Personally: Apple watch release date coincides with centennial

20:11 • 23/04, Address of Armenian FM Edward Nalbandian at conclusion of Global Forum ‘Against the Crime of Genocide’