A vehicle carrying former Pakistani military President Pervez Musharraf arrives at the court in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Aug. 20, 2013. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Pakistan on Tuesday formally charge-sheeted former military President Pervez Musharraf in the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, lawyers said. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
ISLAMABAD, Aug. 20 (Xinhua ) -- An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Pakistan on Tuesday formally charge-sheeted former military President Pervez Musharraf in the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, lawyers said.
Musharraf, who was president during the murder of Benazir Bhutto, rejected the charges and termed them as politically- motivated.
The former president was produced in the court under tight security.
Benazir was assassinated in a suicide attack and gun shots outside in Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2007, after she addressed an election campaign rally.
The ATC judge, Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, also indicted six others accused in the case including two former police officers.
The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), investigating the murder, had submitted a charge-sheet against him in the ATC in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad.
The FIA presented a four-point charge-sheet against Musharraf in the ATC, accusing him for hatching a conspiracy, in connection with the killing of Benazir Bhutto.
The charge sheet submitted contained the statements of four witnesses, including an American journalist, Mark Siegel, as well as Benazir's own statement.
FIA officials said that the charge-sheet has been prepared on the basis of Mark Siegel's statement, who had claimed that Musharraf called and threatened Benazir when he was sitting with her.
Mark Siegel, who once served as lobbyist for Benazir Bhutto in the U.S., had also stated that Benazir had told him that Musharraf would be responsible for any harm to her.
He had earlier stated that he was with Benazir Bhutto in London when Musharraf denied the allegations.
The charge-sheet stated that the statement of the American established Musharraf as the prime accused in Benazir's murder. It also leveled terrorism accusations against the former president. The document stated that Musharraf has failed to prove his innocence in the case.
The ATC last year had earlier summoned Mark Siegel to personally appear in the court and record his statement.
The former president was charge-sheeted in Benazir's murder case weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to initiate high treason case against him for abrogating the constitution.
Musharraf was arrested and remanded to judicial custody for a fortnight in June this year over the murder of a tribal elder, Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in military operation in 2006.
He has been kept at his home in Islamabad over security concerns. His house has been declared as a sub-jail.
BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- A Pakistani court has delayed the indictment of former President Pervez Musharraf because of security fears.
Musharraf had been expected to be charged over his failure to prevent the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. But a public prosecutor said Musharraf’s defense had received threat letters, and formally requested the court delay proceedings until security improved. Full story