Pak court orders confiscation of Mush`s assets

The court ruled that the trial of Musharraf will be started separately from other accused and after he is arrested.

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court
on Saturday ordered the confiscation of property of former president
Pervez Musharraf for his failure to appear before it in the
2007 murder case of former premier Benazir Bhutto, court
officials said.

The court has already declared the former military ruler
an "absconder" in the Bhutto assassination case as he has not
agreed to clarify his position in court despite several
notices.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had requested the
court to summon Musharraf, who was President at the time of
the assassination, and has refused a request to cooperate in
the investigation into Bhutto`s death.

Following the lack of cooperation by Musharraf, he was
named an "absconding accused", FIA prosecutor Chaudhry
Zulfiqar said.

The FIA today presented a final report in the court about
Musharraf`s refusal to appear and the court issued orders to
confiscate his property.

Local media reported that the court has also ordered
freezing of Musharraf’s bank’s accounts.

The court ruled that the trial of Musharraf will be
started separately from other accused and after he is
arrested.

The anti-terrorism court is conducting the trial of five
terror suspects, including alleged members of the Tehrik-e-
Taliban Pakistan, who have been charged with planning and
facilitating the assassination.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly after she
addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi on December 27,
2007.

The chargesheet said that former Rawalpindi Police chief
Saud Aziz and former Superintendent of Police Khurram Shahzad,
who were arrested this year by the FIA on charges of
negligence in providing security to Bhutto, were acting on the
orders of Musharraf.

Both former police officers were bailed out but are still
being tried in the case.

The FIA`s charge against Musharraf is one of a long list
of legal and criminal cases against the former military ruler,
who resigned in August 2008, and it could cause problems for
his planned return to Pakistani politics.

Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in Britain
since April 2009, has said that he intends to return to
Pakistan before the next general election in 2013.

He has also formed a new party, the All Pakistan Muslim
League, with an eye to the next election.

A UN Commission, which probed Bhutto`s assassination,
had held Musharraf responsible for failing to provide adequate
security to the former premier after her return to Pakistan
from self-exile in October 2007.

PTI

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