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Pakistan court extends bail for former president Musharraf

A Pakistan court on Friday extended by six days the bail granted to former president Pervez Musharraf [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], who faces charges of detaining judges during his time in office. The Islamabad High Court also ordered Musharraf to post bond for Rs 500,000, or just over USD $5,000, and to appear for his next hearing [Dawn report] scheduled for April 18. Musharraf has been named as a suspect in the assassination [JURIST report] of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] in 2007. He is also wanted in connection with the murder of a Baluch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2007.

This is the latest development in Musharraf's continued legal troubles in Pakistan. This week the Pakistan Supreme Court delayed his treason hearing [JURIST report] until early next week to give Musharraf's lawyers enough time to prepare a response to the allegations. 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. In February 2011 Pakistani authorities issued an arrest warrant for the former president but were unable to serve the warrant [JURIST report] because he was in London. The warrant was issued weeks after investigations revealed [JURIST report] that Musharraf had issued orders to the police officers accused of failing to protect Bhutto to remove security detail for her departure on the day of her assassination.

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