ATC allows Musharraf’s questioning in Benazir case

Thursday, April 25th, 2013 4:18:22 by

An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on Thursday allowed the investigators to question former President Pervez Musharraf in the 2007 assassination case of former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, prosecutors said.


The order was issued a day after a high court refused to extend Musharraf’s interim bail in the case.


Musharraf had got an interim bail and had approached the court for extension, however, the Lahore High Court rejected his application on the request from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which is investigating the case.


The anti-terrorism court on Thursday formally issued arrest order for Musharraf and allowed the FIA to interrogate him about his role in Bhutto’s assassination in a suicide attack and gunshots in Rawalpindi in December 2007.


A joint investigation team was asked to record statements, after which the court will take a decision for Musharraf’s physical remand.


FIA prosecutors said that the investigators have “solid evidence about Mushararf’s aid and abetment in the incident.”


Musharraf has denied all charges as politically-motivated and says that he will defend himself in courts.


The FIA lawyers had earlier argued that Musharraf has not yet been formally included in the case and that they want to question him as his government had failed to provide proper security to Benazir Bhutto.


Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman then directed to include Musharraf in the case and asked the FIA to complete the investigation and submit a report in the apex court.  The hearing was adjourned until May 3.


Musharraf has been accused of failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from exile in October 2007.


The court had previously declared Musharraf an ‘absconder’ and issued an arrest warrant for him after he failed to cooperate with investigators when he had been living in self-exile. He returned last month and also got interim bail in the case.


Musharraf has already been arrested in the case of keeping the judges in illegal confinement when he had imposed emergency rule in 2007.


The former President is also facing high treason charges for abrogation of the constitution when he had imposed emergence rule in 2007.


Five individuals have filed petitions for high treason proceedings in the Supreme Court, however, the interim government has refused to pursue the case because of its limited role. The interim government has prayed to the apex court to leave the case to the next elected government.

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