Non-bailable warrant against Musharraf
Aide says he won't appear
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Feb 12: Days after former president Pervez Musharraf was made an accused in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, a non-bailable arrest warrant was today issued against him to secure his presence in the court to stand trial.
Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed Khan of the Pakistani anti-terrorism court, conducting the trial of five suspects charged with involvement in Benazir's assassination, issued the warrant Musharraf.
The court made the move after Chaudhry Zulfiqar, the prosecutor for the Federal Investigation Agency, argued that Musharraf should be declared an absconder for failing to cooperate in the investigation into the assassination.
The court directed Musharraf to appear before it at the next hearing on February 19.
But, Musharraf's legal advisor Muhammad Ali Saif told PTI there was "no possibility" of the former President appearing in court and said the court's decision to issue a warrant was "politically-motivated".
Prosecutors told the court that further progress in investigating Bhutto's assassination was not possible without Musharraf's presence.
They said they had tried repeatedly to contact Musharraf but he had refused to cooperate.
They also said he should be declared a wanted fugitive if he did not appear for the next hearing.
The judge also considered statements by former Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema and former Intelligence Bureau chief Ejaz Shah, who said they had acted on Musharraf's instructions in matters related to the assassination.
Cheema has told investigators that he was acting on Musharraf's instructions when he announced at a news conference shortly after the assassination that the Taliban were behind the killing.
The FIA had named Musharraf as an "absconder" earlier this week for failing to cooperate with investigators.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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