The trial in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto will begin afresh on October 22 in the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

Special public prosecutor Chaudhary Muhammed Azhar told The Hindu on the phone that after former Pakistan president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was charged in the case, the trial will have to be conducted afresh and the court had given permission for that on Wednesday. The court had accepted that the trial could not continue in the manner it was after Gen. Musharraf was charged.

The prosecutor said 24 witnesses who were examined earlier will now be re-examined in the court and some new names have been added to the list of those who will testify. Gen. Musharraf has been exempted from appearing in court after the judge accepted his lawyer’s application that it was a security threat for him to do so.

Bhutto was killed in December 2007 after addressing a rally in Liaqat Bagh. The trial has been moving slowly and after Gen. Musharraf returned to Pakistan he was recently charge sheeted for her murder.