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Former Pakistan military ruler granted bail, remains on house arrest

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was granted bail Monday by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court (ATC), but he remains on house arrest over the murder of former prime ministerBenazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Judge Habibur Rehman ordered Musharraf to pay two bonds each worth one million rupees (approximately USD $10,163). Musharraf has been held at his Islamabad farmhouse since April 19. The ATC is a special court established in April for hearing a case regarding Musharraf's illegal confinement of 62 judges after declaring a state of emergency in 2007 Pakistan. The Pakistan Supreme Court [official website] adjourned hearing the treason case against Musharraf to May 22.

This is the latest development in the series of charges and legal troubles for Musharraf. In April the Peshawar High Court of Pakistan banned [JURIST report] Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life, as well as extending his house arrest during the ongoing trial regarding the murder of Bhutto. 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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