ISLAMABAD – Investigators said Tuesday that they have “solid evidences” against former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with the killing of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as a court ordered Musharraf to remain in judicial lock-up for two more weeks, local media reported.
Musharraf was not produced before the Anti-Terrorism Court on Tuesday over security concerns and the judge passed the order in his absence.
Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 and returned from self-exile last month, has been accused of failing to provide adequate security to Benazir Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from exile in 2007.
The former president has denied all charges and said that he was not directly responsible for Benazir’s security and it was the responsibility of the local authorities.
The court on April 26 had remanded him for fours days to the Federal Investigation Agency, which is investigating the killing of Benazir Bhutto in a suicide bomb attack and firing in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Investigators told the court that they have completed questioning of the former president and do not seek more time. So the court sent him on judicial remand until May 14, a spokesman for Musharraf said. Musharraf will remain in prison on the day when Pakistanis will go to poll on May 11.
Chaudhry Zulfikar, a prosecutor, said that Musharraf has tried to shift his liability and responsibility on others in the case.
“There are solid evidences about Pervez Musharraf, which prove him guilty in the case,” Zulfikar told reporters outside the court ‘s premises.
He said a joint investigation team has included all the evidence in the documents, “which directly connect the accused’ with the incident.
He said that former Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also been asked to record his statement in the case as he had been in charge of Benazir Bhutto’s security when she was attacked shortly after she spoke to her supporters.
The prosecutor also said that an American journalist Mark Siegel, who had claimed threats to Benazir Bhutto, will also record his statement during the proceedings.
Siegel, who has served as lobbyist for Bhutto in the United States had said earlier that he was with her in London when then President Pervez Musharraf called and threatened her. Musharraf had denied the allegations.
“Mark Siegel is a key witness in the case and he will be produced in the court during the proceedings to record his statement,” Zulfikar said.
The then government of Musharraf had blamed Pakistani Taliban for the attack, but the charges were denied by the militants.
Five suspects are currently facing trial for Bhutto’s assassination, who had denied any involvement.