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Will face courts in Benazir murder case: Musharraf

Updated September 03, 2017

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Former president Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Sunday that he will face the courts in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case in Pakistan after his health improves.

In a statement issued by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) secretariat, Musharraf said that the recent court verdict was not against him as his case is still pending.

Terming American journalist and lobbyist Mark Siegel's statement "meaningless", Musharraf said that his lawyers had already refuted the comments.

Siegel, in his testimony in 2015, had claimed Musharraf had threatened Bhutto with dire consequences if she chose to return to Pakistan from exile.

The former dictator also said that his legal team was looking into the issue of his property's seizure and that he, or his family, would take appropriate legal action after consultation. He claimed that he was wrongly included in the case on a political basis.

A joint investigation team had implicated Musharraf in the case, saying that his government did not provide adequate security to the former prime minister despite her repeated requests.

Earlier this week, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) acquitted five Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suspects and announced 17-year imprisonment for two police officials in Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Apart from Musharraf, five other men — Baitullah Mehsud, Ahmad Gul, Iqramullah, Abdullah, and Faizullah — were also declared absconders.

The case had lingered on for nearly ten years. During the case, 68 witnesses appeared on behalf of the prosecution and recorded their testimonies. The police presented three charge sheets before the court, whereas the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented five.

The judge hearing the case was changed eight times.

In 2013, FIA's special prosecutor in the case was killed by unknown assailants. Doctors said he had been killed with 10 bullets targeting his chest and shoulder.

Benazir Bhutto — twice elected prime minister of Pakistan — was assassinated when terrorists attacked her convoy, as it was leaving the historic Liaquat Bagh after addressing a public meeting on Dec 27, 2007.