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Pakistan court bans Musharraf from running for public office

The Peshawar High Court of Pakistan [official website] on Tuesday banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] from running for public office for the rest of his life. The court also extended Musharraf's house arrest over the murder of Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Saad Shibli, a lawyer for Mushaarraf, said he would challenge the ruling in the Pakistan Supreme Court [official website], arguing that because around 500 officials were a part of Musharraf's actions, he should not be singled out. According to media sources, the 69-year-old former military ruler will be held [AFP report] at his Islamabad farmhouse under house-arrest until May 14 to ensure his safety in the wake of numerous and severe threats. Specifically, Pakistani authorities defused a car bomb near Musharraf's house on April 30.

This is the latest development in the controversial cases against Musharraf which span several charges and legal issues. Last week the Pakistani interim government declined [JURIST report] to try Musharraf for treason because they claimed such action would be outside the scope of their duties. In April, a Pakistan court extended [JURIST report] Musharraf's bail on charges of illegally detaining judges. In March, Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] Pakistan to hold Musharraf accountable for alleged human rights abuses upon his return to the country. Last year, Pakistani authorities pledged to arrest [JURIST report] Musharraf for his alleged involvement in Bhutto's assassination. In August 2011, a court ordered seizure of his property [JURIST report] and froze his bank account after he failed to respond to multiple subpoenas regarding the assassination investigation.

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