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Former Pakistan leader Musharraf granted protective bail on eve of return

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was granted protective bail by the High Court of Sindh Karachi [official website] in Pakistan on Friday. AFP reports that Judge Sajjad Ali Shah set Musharraf's bail [AFP report] at approximately USD $3,000 for the 2007 dismissal of judges, the 2006 death of Baluch rebe Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The bail issued by the court will mean that Musharraf cannot be arrested for 10 days with regards to the dismissal of the judges and for 14 days with regards to the murder cases. Musharraf is expected to return to Pakistan [Reuters report] on Sunday to contest May 11 elections after spending several years in exile [Guardian report] in London.

In February of last year, Pakistan authorities pledged to arrest [JURIST report] Musharraf for his alleged involvement in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. In August 2011, Pakistani Judge Shahid Raffique ordered that Musharraf's property be seized [JURIST report] and his bank account frozen in connection with his alleged involvement in Bhutto's assassination. Musharraf seized power in a coup in 1999 but resigned in 2008.

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