Islamabad: Pakistani prosecutors are
expected to ask an anti-terrorism court to start proceedings
to impound former President Pervez Musharraf`s assets
following his failure to respond to his designation as a
"proclaimed offender" for failing to cooperate in the
investigation of Benazir Bhutto`s assassination.
Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindi-based court
had given Musharraf a week to respond to the charges against
him after declaring him a proclaimed offender or fugitive on
Musharraf, currently living in self-exile outside
Pakistan, has not submitted his response to the court and no
lawyer appeared on his behalf before the judge.
The court had directed the Federal Investigation
Agency to print advertisements in national newspapers giving
details about the designation of Musharraf as a proclaimed
offender and this was done on June 1, officials said.
The advertisements clearly mentioned that the court
had set a seven-day deadline for Musharraf to respond to the
charges levelled against him.
The deadline had expired today, officials said.
The advertisements further said that if Musharraf did
not appear in court or appoint a lawyer to appear on his
behalf, the procedure to impound his moveable and immovable
assets will be started.
Prosecutors from the FIA are expected to ask the court
to begin the procedure for impounding Musharraf`s assets at
the next hearing of the case on June 11.
The trial of five suspects, including a would-be
suicide bomber, suspected of involvement in former premier
Benazir Bhutto`s killing has been held up for several months
due to Musharraf`s refusal to cooperate with investigators.
The prosecutors have informed the judge that Musharraf
was aware of the trial underway in Pakistan.
The anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for
Musharraf in February after investigators declared him an
"absconder" and told the judge that the former military ruler
was not cooperating in the probe.
Investigators have alleged that Musharraf`s regime had
failed to provide adequate security to Bhutto after she
returned to Pakistan from self-exile in 2007.
Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber after she had
addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi in December the same