Lashkar-e-Taiba

Pervez Musharraf Indicted for Benazir Bhutto Murder

Although he is already under house arrest for a number of other charges pending against him, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military leader who took control of the government after ousting then (and once again, now) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a coup, was indicted today on three charges relating to the assassination in 2007 of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The charges were filed in the Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawilpindi. From Dawn:

“He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder,” public prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP at the ATC in Rawalpindi hearing the case.

The six accused persons include former City Police Officer (CPO) of Rawalpindi Saud Aziz, the then SP Khurram Shahzad, Hasnain Gul, Rafaqat Hussain, Sher Zaman and Abdul Rasheed respectively.

Salman Masood and Declan Walsh provide more in the New York Times:

The sight of a once untouchable general being called to account by a court had a potent symbolism in a country that has been ruled by the military for about half of its 66-year history. While the military remains deeply powerful, the prosecution has sent the message that Pakistan’s top generals are subject to the rule of law — at least after they have retired.

If only Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus were called to account for their crimes. But I digress.

The Times continues with interesting information on the basis of the charges against Musharraf:

The case against Mr. Musharraf is believed to rest largely on a statement by Mark Siegel, a Washington lobbyist and friend of Ms. Bhutto’s, who says that Mr. Musharraf made a threatening phone call to her before she returned to Pakistan in October 2007. Ms. Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack as she left a rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

Mr. Siegel said Ms. Bhutto had warned him in an e-mail that if she were killed, the blame should fall on four named people — a former director of the ISI spy service, a military intelligence agent, a political rival, and Mr. Musharraf.

It would appear that Siegel now bases his career on his former association with Bhutto and a book they wrote together just prior to her death. Here is more on the email at the heart of the case: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz .@bryandunlap @jeffa934 Absolutely. The three, actually four now I think, are all independent of each other and remarkably consistent.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 Well, so be it.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 It is not what I believe, it is 27 years of hands on experience with witnesses and juries.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 No, the way it is currently being pitched here is directly relevant, and it is total bullshit.
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yesmsimone She is really great, I like her a lot. But I am not putting her on the stand again.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 Well, thats sure as hell how its being applied right now, as the subject "eyewitnesses" are all black and discredit the white cop
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz In relation to #Ferguson and Darren Wilson, "eyewitness unreliability" is currently nothing more than a canard to discredit black witnesses.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yesmsimone She got unnecessarily eaten alive by the prosecutor; just didn't make an effective expert. Her written work is superb.
30mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Is eyewitness testimony unreliable? Sure, sometimes it is. But it is necessary, and it is very powerful.
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: Behold, John Brennan’s Scary Memo! http://t.co/9LlP3nVy5W some serious dot connecting here via @emptywheel
33mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz You know where you here all this about the "unreliability of eyewitness testimony"? In cases of people convicted by eyewitness testimony.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Heres the thing - for all the clacking about unreliability of eyewitness evidence, juries absolutely eat it up. Its VERY powerful+persuasive
41mreplyretweetfavorite
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