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Bhutto case: Permanent arrest warrant issued against Musharraf

June 11, 2011 15:31 IST

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturdau issued a permanent non-bailable arrest warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf for failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of  former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Prosecutors from the Federal Investigation Agency told Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court that Musharraf had not appeared in court even after being issued summons and declared a "proclaimed offender" or fugitive. They asked the court to issue a permanent arrest warrant.

Taking note of this, the judge issued a fresh and permanent non-bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf, currently living in self-exile outside Pakistan. The prosecutors also asked the court to issue orders to confiscate Musharraf's moveable and immovable property.

The judge directed authorities to submit details of his assets at the next hearing and adjourned the case for two weeks. The court withdrew a contempt of court notice it had issued to FIA Director General Malik Muhammad Iqbal for not following judicial directives after he apologised to the judge.

The trial of five suspects, including a would-be suicide bomber, on charges of involvement in former premier Bhutto's killing has been held up for several months due to Musharraf's refusal to cooperate with investigators.

The anti-terrorism court had earlier 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 year.

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