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Pakistan court denies bail for former president Musharraf

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] was denied bail on Wednesday in the case regarding the assassination [JURIST report] of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Musharraf was applying for pre-arrest interim bail, citing severe threats to his safety. Specifically, Pakistani authorities defused a car bomb near Musharraf's house on Tuesday. The court, however, was not swayed by this argument and denied [Pakistan Today report] Musharraf's application. Following the ruling, the court transferred the case to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) [official website] for further investigation with the direction to arrest Musharraf. He has also been connected to the murder of a Baluch tribal leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, in 2007.

This is the latest development in the controversial cases against Musharraf which span several charges and legal issues. Earlier this 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] the Musharraf's bail on charges of illegally detaining judges. In March, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website 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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