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Pakistan court orders house-arrest for former president Musharraf

A Pakistani court on Friday mandated that former president Pervez Musharraf [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] stay in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) [official website] until resumption of the case regarding the assassination [JURIST report] of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. According to media sources, the 69 year-old former military ruler will be held [AFP report] at his Islamabad farmhouse under house-arrest until April 30 to ensure his safety in the wake of numerous and severe threats. Specifically, Pakistani authorities defused a car bomb near Musharraf's house on Tuesday. Earlier this week Musharraf applied for and was denied [JURIST report] pre-arrest interim bail after the threat. The court then transferred the case to the FIA for further investigation with the direction to arrest Musharraf. The ex-president is already under house-arrest [JURIST report] until a May 4 hearing regarding treason charges. Musharraf is required to comply with the orders concurrently.

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 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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