Musharraf declared absconder in ex-Pakistan PM murder

Musharraf declared absconder in ex-Pakistan PM murder

Meanwhile, the court acquitted five men of conspiracy to murder, citing lack of evidence.

August 31, 2017: Pakistan's anti-terrorism court sentenced two senior police officers to 17 years in jail and declared former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf an absconder.

The anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi ruled he had "absconded", a court official told reporters outside, saying it had also ordered the confiscation of his property. Saud Aziz, then police chief of Rawalpindi, was found guilty of security negligence, and for damaging evidence by having the attack site hosed down soon after the attack.

Musharraf was also among the list of accused, who is living in exile in Britain and the United Arab Emirates. Following Wednesday's court decision, Musharraf legally must be arrested and brought to trial if he returns to Pakistan. He moved to Dubai in 2016 after a travel ban was lifted.

He was acquitted previous year in the 2006 killing of a Baloch militant leader, but four cases remain against him: one accusing him of treason for imposing emergency rule, one alleging the unlawful dismissal of judges, one over a deadly raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad in 2007, and Bhutto's killing.

It is worth mentioning here that senior journalist and incumbent President of National Press Club (NPC) Shakeel Anjum also wrote a book in 2008 titled "Who assassinated Benazir Bhutto" in which he explained circumstances in which the former prime minister was killed and mysteries surrounding her murder, and then subsequent investigation in her murder case.

She was killed when she stood up and put her head out of a sunroof-style escape hatch in the bombproof vehicle.

It was during one of her public rallies, leading up to the 2008 elections, that Bhutto was first attacked by terrorists who had planted two bombs in the crowd.

Bhutto died in her auto under circumstances that were later disputed.

She was waving hand and replying the slogans of her party workers while standing in roof of her vehicle.

The government had blamed the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for the killing and the authorities had played an alleged video of the TTP former leader Baitullah Mehsood, in which he congratulated other militant leaders on Benazir's murder.

Elected twice, she was also thrown out twice because of allegations of corruption, going into exile when Pervez Musharraf took over in 1999.

Musharraf was charged in 2013 of being culpable in Bhutto's murder.

Responsibility for the assassination remains shrouded in mystery.

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