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

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Folks: 5 cops got hospitalized trying to bring this guy in. It's not really a good comparison abt why cops are on hair trigger elsewhere.
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @neilrockindlaw Yep. I hate it when, even after a couple of beers, I have no good answers. And I got none on guns.
emptywheel @RossSchulman THe NSA cares. They can only use the latter to justify their dragnets.
emptywheel RT @PogoWasRight: Kudos to responders in #ColoradoSprings for resolving incident. Best wishes for 11 transported to hospital, including 5 p…
emptywheel RT @New_Narrative: “@kktv11news: #BREAKING - Five of those transported to hospital were police officers #CentennialBlshooting
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @neilrockindlaw Something I ponder: Even if we enacted "reasonable gun control", is US way to far past the rubicon on guns?
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @neilrockindlaw Yeah. And, you know, I'd go defend any of these people if retained to. But, damn, something has to give.
bmaz RT @neilrockindlaw: Yep... We need those AK-47's available for sport. #gunskill
emptywheel @kennethlipp The take out terrorist kind? I guess that's likely bc they've actually had terrorists of the sort that get drone-killed there.
emptywheel @NoahShachtman Also @Snowden's fault that Schengen exists, and that there's a refugee crisis.
emptywheel @theurbansherpa You can borrow my doggie Ergo though. The one for large dogs and their food.
emptywheel Wow. It turns out you can arrest terrorists alive. And I thought they were going to have to fly over a drone from NV.
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