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Pakistan high court denies request to transfer Musharraf trial

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the High Court of Bolochistan [official website] on Saturday dismissed a request to move former president Pervez Musharraf's [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] trial over the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti to the neighboring city of Rawalpindi. Lawyers for Musharraf argued that he faced numerous threats [AFP report] in Balochistan and requested, for security purposes, that his trial be transferred. Bugti was killed in a 2006 military operation ordered by Musharraf during his time as both president and army chief of Pakistan. Musharraf has been detained at his Islamabad farmhouse since April 19 for conspiracy to kill former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] in 2007.

Musharraf has had many legal troubles of late. 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. Also last week, a Pakistani court officially charged [JURIST report] Musharraf with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of murder in the 2007 death of Bhutto. In April a Pakistan court extended Musharraf's bail on charges of illegally detaining judges. That same month, the Peshawar High Court of Pakistan both banned [JURIST reports] Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life and extended his house arrest during the ongoing trial regarding the murder of Bhutto. In March Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] Pakistan to hold Musharraf accountable for alleged human rights abuses upon his return to the country.

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