Skip to main content

Lawyer: Pakistani court to indict ex-president Musharraf in Bhutto killing

By Jethro Mullen and Saima Mohsin, CNN
August 1, 2013 -- Updated 0026 GMT (0826 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Musharraf plans to plead not guilty to the charges, his lawyer says
  • The ex-president will appear in court next week where he'll be indicted, the lawyer says
  • The charges relate to the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto in 2007
  • Musharraf is accused of failing to provide adequate security for Bhutto

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf is expected to be indicted next week in connection with the death of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, his lawyer said.

Musharraf is not expected to be charged with murder, but over his alleged failure to provide adequate security for Bhutto, the lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri said Tuesday.

Bhutto, Pakistan's first female prime minister, was assassinated in a gun-suicide attack in December 2007, shortly after she came back to Pakistan from self-imposed exile to take part in the 2008 general elections.

Musharraf was president at the time.

Pakistani politicians choose PM's ally as president

GPS Highlights: Pervez Musharraf
Former President Musharraf in court
Pervez Musharraf facing charges

A long investigation

Investigators said former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud plotted the assassination and paid the equivalent of about $4,500 to a network of Islamist militants to carry out the killing.

But they also accuse Musharraf of failing to protect Bhutto.
They say Musharraf rejected Bhutto's request to use a western private security contractor for protection when she returned to Pakistan.

They suggested Musharraf intentionally left Bhutto vulnerable because he felt politically threatened by her return.

The former military ruler has denied having anything to do with Bhutto's killing.

Musharraf's lawyer said the charges expected next week are politically motivated and that Musharraf plans to plead not guilty.

An investigation into Bhutto's killing has lasted nearly six years.

In May, gunmen killed a leading prosecutor working on the case, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali.

Prime minister: Musharraf should stand trial for treason

Reversal of fortune

Musharraf appeared Tuesday before an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi that's hearing the case, Kasuri said. The former military ruler is due to return to the court on August 6, when he is expected to be indicted, he said.

After the general elections in 2008 where his party was trounced, Musharraf stepped down as the governing coalition began taking steps to impeach him.

He himself then went into self-imposed exile.

Earlier this year, he returned to Pakistan in an attempt to revive his political career. It didn't work.

Instead, he's become entangled in a thicket of court cases related to his time as the country's top leader.

He has been under house arrest since April.

Musharraf did receive one piece of good news Tuesday when the court in Rawalpindi agreed to unfreeze his assets in Pakistan and abroad.

CNN's Saima Mohsin reported from Islamabad; Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. Shaista Aziz also contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT