Mark Siegel

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

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emptywheel @p2wy I use Irish slang a lot, for obvious reasons (also sometimes forget I'm supposed to call it a "glove compartment")
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emptywheel @KimZetter I was just thinking it must be hell on Wired's editorial staff.
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emptywheel @TimothyS Also, "Did SAIC and Raytheon oversee some catastrophic mis-implementation of CIA's reporting system in the aughts"?
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emptywheel RT @saftergood: New CRS report examines the growing frequency of mass shootings http://t.co/0U59Yr6fRd
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emptywheel Fr weekend: We ought to consider report that Adm Rogers overly focused on CENTCOM given claim US will "deter" China. https://t.co/xSXEPa01DZ
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emptywheel @TimothyS Speaking of which, you may find this of interest. https://t.co/nShubBLB7W
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emptywheel @billmon1 Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
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emptywheel The Things Our Allies Tell Us — Or Don’t, Middle East Quagmire edition https://t.co/qkxTdrHLJo
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emptywheel And at the very least a pre-USA Freedom Act implementation canary would have been useful. https://t.co/xXtKpl3B1M
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emptywheel Methinks we've now gotten to the "doth protest too much" stage for these clowns. https://t.co/NE14lzv1u1
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield I hope you have a nice laser color printer. It really jumps in color.
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