Pakistani court orders confiscation of Musharraf’s assets

August 28th, 2011 - 6:56 am ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, Aug 28 (IANS) An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan Saturday ordered confiscation of property of former president Pervez Musharraf for his failure to appear before the court in the 2007 murder case of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, court officials said.

The court has already declared Pervez Musharraf as an “absconder” in the assassination case of Benazir Bhutto as he has not agreed to clarify his position in court despite several notices, Xinhua reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had requested the court to summon Pervez Musharraf, who was president at the time of Bhutto’s assassination, but he refused a request to cooperate in the probe into her death.

Following the lack of cooperation by Musharraf, he was named as an “absconding accused”, FIA prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said.

The FIA Saturday presented a final report in the court about Musharraf’s refusal to appear and the court issued orders to confiscate his property. Media reports said that the court has also ordered to freeze Musharraf’s bank accounts.

The court ruled that Musharraf’s trial will be held separately from other accused after his arrest.

The anti-terrorism court is conducting the trial of five terror suspects, including alleged members of Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan, who have been charged with planning and facilitating the assassination.

Bhutto was killed in a suicide bomb attack shortly after she addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi Dec 27, 2007.

The chargesheet further said that then Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and then superintendent of police Khurram Shahzad, who were arrested this year by FIA on charges of negligence in providing security to Bhutto, were acting on the orders of Musharraf. Both former police officers were bailed out and are now being tried in the case.

FIA’s charge against Musharraf is one of a long list of legal and criminal cases against the former president who resigned in August 2008 and it could cause problems for his planned return to Pakistani politics.

Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in Britain since April 2009, said that he planned to return to Pakistan before the next general election in 2013.

He has also formed a new party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, with an eye to the next polls.

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