Pakistan court reissues Musharraf arrest warrant
Last Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 21:36
  
Rawalpindi: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has reissued an arrest warrant for former president Pervez Musharraf over the assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, according to a prosecutor.

Judge Rana Nisar, while hearing the case in Adiyala jail, issued the warrant and ordered the authorities concerned to send it to the residences of the former president in Islamabad and London, where he lives in self exile, according to the Geo News.

Rawalpindi police officers Saud Aziz and Khurram Shehzad, co-accused in the assassination case, were also present during the hearing.

The Federal investigation Agency (FIA) earlier presented a report on the non-compliance of the previous orders of Musharraf's arrest.

Musharraf, who was president when Bhutto was killed in December 2007 in a gun and suicide bomb attack, is in self-imposed exile in London and his spokesman has said he will not be going back to Pakistan for any court hearing.

"Last week the court had issued the arrest warrant but it could not be served at Musharraf's residence in Islamabad and we were told that he does not live there," special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said on Saturday.

"Today the court reissued the warrants and adjourned the hearing till March 5."

"We do not have his address, but we came to know through media and officials who went to serve the warrant that he is in UK. We will get his address and serve the notice on it," he added.

The former president and military ruler is alleged to have been part of a "broad conspiracy" to have his political rival killed before elections, though the exact nature of the charges against him is not clear.

Bhutto was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, on December 27, 2007.

Her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, led her Pakistan People's Party to election victory in February 2008 and is now president.

In April, a UN panel accused the government of failing to provide Bhutto with adequate protection and said investigations were hampered by intelligence agencies and other officials who impeded "an unfettered search for the truth".

Former military leader Musharraf has lived in London since he was replaced by the elected Zardari.

At the time of Bhutto's death, Musharraf's government blamed the assassination on Pakistan's Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement.

Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009, one of the most high-profile casualties of the covert American campaign targeting Al-Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Bureau Report


First Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 21:36


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