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
emptywheel @John_de_Vashon At least, that's what they'd do if Cliven were Muslim.
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bmaz @emptywheel That is exactly why I've been asking questions. Charges have to be D-NV, why not arrest him there?
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emptywheel @John_de_Vashon In NV you can also tie it to subsequent killing of cops.
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emptywheel @John_de_Vashon So he'll get sent back to NV...
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emptywheel @Kyle_Feldscher Journos usu pretty good at tracking tie bt efficacy and minimal # of bodies at least for their profession @sbagen @Meholland
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emptywheel @Kyle_Feldscher It's still just a layoff, not a culture change. It still has hugely detrimental impact on oversight @sbagen @Meholland
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emptywheel @sbagen The kind of culture change that leads press to join corporate funded firms that will even spin Let them eat cake as a positive
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel .@sbagen Flacking is flacking. It really OUGHT to piss off press in MI, however, seeing big journo layoffs described as "culture change"
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Interesting Q: Is Cliven going to stay in OR district or will he be sent back to the pokey in NV?
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @AliWatkins That's a story unto itself. WH's been successful at minimizing degree to which CIA obstruction abt protecting WH @Krhawkins5
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emptywheel @jpokeefe Actually @raynetoday did that, but any help is welcome!
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emptywheel Gov's flack points to downsizing of state press & consequent inattention to boss' action as worthy culture change https://t.co/SumgwWaFwT
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February 2016
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