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Musharraf gets bail in Benazir murder case

21 May, 2013

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RAWALPINDI: The Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) No 1, Rawalpindi, Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, on Monday granted bail to former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination case. The bail was granted against two surety bonds of Rs1 million each.

In the morning, the judge had reserved his decision after hearing arguments by both sides and announced it in the afternoon.Musharraf's counsel argued that the case against their client was a political one and the responsibility of Benazir's security was the responsibility of the officers on duty, not the former General.

Another arrested suspect in the case, Abdur Rasheed Turabi was denied bail by the court.Now there are two cases against Musharraf — illegal disposition of judges and Akbar Bugti murder. His lawyers have plans to apply for his bail in the judges' detention case on May 22.

During the arguments, Salman Safdar, a counsel for Musharraf, said there was no solid evidence or witness against his client. He said the former military ruler had not been blamed for the 2007 suicide attack that killed Benazir by the family of any of the victims.

Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) opposed Musharraf's bail petition, saying, the former president could flee Pakistan if he was freed from detention. APP adds: Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman approved the bail plea and ordered to release the accused against the surety bonds.

During arguments, Barrister Salman Safdar pleaded that the FIA has no authority to investigate the case as its jurisdiction is to probe matters relating to cyber crimes and financial embezzlements.

He said there is no mention of Pervez Musharraf in the first information report (FIR) of the case, adding that the FIA is questioning the former president on the base of a letter, which also contains names of three other personalities. Barrister Safdar regretted that why these persons have not been included in the investigation.

He requested the court to grant bail to his client as there is no evidence as well as statement against the former president.FIA Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar said it is not a political case and the FIA is carrying out the investigation on merit.

AFP adds: Ahmed Raza Kasuri, a counsel for Mushararf, told AFP he would not flee."He will get free from all cases one by one. He has got bail in Benzair Bhutto murder case today and will get bail from other cases very soon," he said.

"He will stay in the country and won't go abroad. He will stay very much here. Rumours that he will go abroad before Nawaz Sharif takes charge of the prime minister office are false."

End.

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