Musharraf to defy Pak court's non-bailable arrest warrant in Benazir murder case

London, Feb 13(ANI): Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will not comply with a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by an Islamabad court over the assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, his London spokesman has said.

"No, he won't be going back for this hearing," the New York Post quoted Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League party, as saying.

On Saturday, a Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court ordered the former military ruler, who is currently in a self-imposed exile in London, to appear for a hearing on February 19 in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Fawad said the warrant against Musharraf in this regard was "totally ridiculous."

Benazir was targeted in a gun and bomb attack as she was leaving Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi after addressing a public rally on December 27, 2007.

"A joint investigation team that had been formed to probe the assassination said in its report that Musharraf was involved in the case and was equally responsible," said Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali.

"The report said it was a broad conspiracy involving Pervez Musharraf, two police officials and terrorists," Ali said following the closed-door hearing at Rawalpindi's Adiala Prison near Islamabad.

When asked what would happen if Musharraf did not appear in the court on the next date of the hearing, the prosecutor said: "We will see when the time comes."

According to sources, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing Benazir's assassination submitted a challan to the ATC last week, which said: "Pervez Musharraf had prior knowledge of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by accused Baitullah Mehsud, the TTP chief, but he (Musharraf) withheld this piece of vital information."

The sources claimed that the FIA, in its challan, added: "Based on motive, circumstantial evidence and statements mentioned above, it is prima facie established that Musharraf is equally responsible with criminal mens rea for facilitation and abetment of assassinating Benazir Bhutto through his government's unjustified failure in providing her the requisite security protection her status deserved as twice prime minister." (ANI)

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