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Pak court extends Musharraf custody in Bhutto case

world Updated: May 14, 2013 13:22 IST
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A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Tuesday extended former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's house arrest over the murder of Benazir Bhutto for 14 days, a prosecutor said.

The court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi neighbouring Islamabad also put off hearing a bail application by Musharraf until May 20, Chaudhry Azhar told AFP.

He said, "the court extended Musharraf's judicial remand until May 28 when it hears the case again," adding that the adjournment came after Musharraf's lawyer Salman Safdar could not attend the hearing.

This was the first hearing after the main state prosecutor handling Bhutto's 2007 murder and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, was shot dead in Islamabad en route to court on May 3.

Musharraf is accused of conspiracy to murder two-time prime minister Bhutto, whose Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was elected into power in February 2008 on a wave of sympathy over her death.

Musharraf's government blamed the killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement and was killed in a US drone attack in 2009.

Musharraf returned from exile in March to stand in the May 11 general election, vowing to "save" the country from militancy and economic collapse but he was barred from running over charges dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

The retired general also faces legal cases over the sacking of judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007, and the 2006 death of a Baluch rebel leader.