A Pakistani court on Wednesday refused to extend bail for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in connection with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a lawyer said.
It is the second of three cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule for which he has been denied bail.
He is already under a two-week house arrest at his villa on the edge of Islamabad over his decision to sack judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007.
Musharraf, who attended a separate hearing relating to the Bhutto case on Tuesday, did not appear before the court Wednesday and neither did his main lawyer.
“The court dismissed General Musharraf’s bail application,” prosecution lawyer Chaudhry Azhar told reporters after the hearing by the Lahore High Court sitting in Rawalpindi, the garrison city twinned to Islamabad.
“Now the FIA (federal investigative agency) should arrest him,” he added.
Musharraf is accused of conspiracy to murder Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007.
His arrest and disqualification from contesting elections on May 11 has been a humiliating blow for the former ruler of nuclear-armed Pakistan, who returned home last month promising to “save” the country.
On Tuesday, police said they had recovered a car carrying detonators and explosives on the road leading to Musharraf’s house
The Pakistani Taliban has threatened to kill Musharraf who escaped three assassination attempts during his rule, but denied anything to do with the car.
Nobody has been convicted or jailed for Bhutto’s assassination on December 27, 2007, in Rawalpindi, despite a long-running court case.
Musharraf’s government blamed Bhutto’s killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement and who was killed in a US drone attack in August 2009.
In 2010 a U.N. report said Bhutto’s death could have been prevented and accused Musharraf’s government of failing to give her adequate protection.
Bhutto’s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is chairman of the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party, has accused Musharraf of her murder.
- Pakistan police say explosives found near Musharraf house
- Musharraf in Pakistan court over Bhutto killing
- Pakistan government refuses to try Musharraf for treason
- Pakistan court extends Musharraf custody
- Musharraf vows to fight back after arrest on terrorism charges
- Pakistan court puts Musharraf under two-day house arrest
- Pakistan’s Musharraf on the run after arrest order
- Pakistan court orders arrest of former president Musharraf
- Pakistan extends Musharraf bail over Bhutto killing
- Pakistan’s Musharraf disqualified from election
- Pakistan court orders Musharraf to appear over treason