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Pakistan police file charges against Taliban leader in Bhutto assassination

[JURIST] Pakistani police on Saturday filed preliminary charges against Baitullah Mehsud [BBC profile], the top Taliban leader in Pakistan, and four others in the assassination of former prime minister Benzhair Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. The charges were filed at an anti-terrorism court in the city of Rawalpindi and arrest warrants were issued for Mehsud, Ibadur Rehman, Imramullah, Faiz Muhammad and Abbdullah in connection with the planning and financing of Bhutto's assassination. Meshud is the commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban, a group of Islamic militants with links to al Qaeda. He has denied involvement in the attack.

Five men have already been arrested for their alleged involvement with the assassination [JURIST report], part of a suicide attack at a political rally in Rawalpindi. Two were arrested in January [JURIST report], one of whom told investigators he was sent by Meshud. The two men admitted to supplying the suicide bomber, known as Bilal, with a bomb vest and a pistol. Two additional suspects were arrested earlier this month [JURIST report] and were identified by the Pakistani government as "two very important alleged terrorists." AP has more.

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