Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Death threats force delay in charging ex-Pakistani leader

Reuters, RAWALPINDI, Pakistan

A court delayed the indictment of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf yesterday because it was too dangerous for him to attend the proceedings due to threats to his life.

Musharraf, once Pakistan’s most powerful man, had been expected to be charged over his failure to prevent the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

The closely watched case has shattered an unwritten rule in Pakistan that the top military brass are untouchable. Charging Musharraf would be unprecedented in a country ruled by the military for half of its 66-year history.

Public Prosecutor Mohammad Azhar told reporters at an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi — the city where Bhutto was killed — that the indictment would now take place on Aug. 20.

“They have received threat letters,” he said, adding that Musharraf’s defense had formally requested the court delay the proceedings until the security situation improved.

Musharraf was army chief and seized power in a 1999 coup. He later become president and stepped down in 2008.

Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack after an election rally.

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