Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf will be charged with criminal conspiracy and murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on August 6, even as his bail plea in the Akbar Bugti killing case was rejected on Tuesday.
Gen. Musharraf was produced in an anti-terrorism court headed by judge Habibur Rahman in Rawalpindi amid tight security for Tuesday’s hearing in the Bhutto assassination case.
Mr. Rehman fixed August 6 as the date to formally charge the 69-year-old former President.
His indictment would be an unprecedented move in a country ruled by the military for more than half of its life.
The Rawalpindi court is hearing the case of the assassination of Ms. Bhutto, the two-time Prime minister.
Ms. Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, when Gen. Musharraf was the President. The assault happened after she addressed an election campaign rally in the city.
State prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali told media that “Musharraf will be produced at the next hearing on August 6.
The charges relating to criminal conspiracy and murder will be read out before “Gen. Musharraf and he will have to sign the chargesheet, he said.
Mr. Rehman ordered the police that the accused should be present in the court to sign the chargesheet and respond to the charges.
Gen. Musharraf was not produced in court in the last two hearings due to security reasons, prompting the judge to reprimand the police and order them to present the accused or make arrangement for hearing of the case in the jail.
The judge on Tuesday also restored the frozen bank accounts and assets of Gen. Musharraf.
The request for restoration was made by the former President’s lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui.