ISLAMABAD, June 25: The trial of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto murder case formally commenced on Tuesday after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted the seventh and final challan in the anti-terrorism court of Rawalpindi.

The FIA mentioned Gen Musharraf as an accused on bail. In 2010, he had been nominated as an accused in the case. The FIA later nominated him as a proclaimed offender while he was abroad. The status was changed after he obtained bail from the ATC in May.

The investigating agency has accused the former military ruler of hatching a conspiracy which led to the killing of the former prime minister.

ATC judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman ordered the FIA to present the accused on July 2 for starting the indictment process.

The four-page final challan contains Mr Musharraf’s statement in which he says that he didn’t entertain Ms Bhutto’s request for security because being the president he was not responsible for security-related issues which concerned the interior ministry.

But Kamal Shah, the interior secretary at that time, said in his statement which also is part of the document that he had requested president Musharraf to provide security cover to Ms Bhutto but he didn’t issue any directive. He said he had forwarded a request to Mr Musharraf to provide security to three former prime ministers — Ms Bhutto, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Shaukat Aziz. According to him, Musharraf gave approval for providing security to Chaudhry Shujaat and Mr Aziz but didn’t respond to the request regarding Ms Bhutto.

The investigators said Mr Musharraf did not give any satisfactory answer to questions about his meeting with Ms Bhutto held in Dubai in which he reportedly told her that her security was linked to her relations with him.


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