Pakistan court orders Musharraf to be held in custody

[JURIST] A Pakistani judge ruled Saturday that former president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] would be held in custody for two weeks until his next hearing on May 4. Pakistan's chief commissioner later declared [AP report] Musharraf's estate on the edge of Islamabad a temporary jail, allowing Musharraf to remain under house arrest until his trial. The ruling comes in light of Musharraf's recent actions: Musharraf escaped the court premises on Thursday after an arrest warrant [JURIST report] was issued against him on charges of detaining judges during his time in office. He was found and arrested on Friday, and put under temporary house arrest after appearing before a magistrate.

Along with the arrest warrant, Judge Shaukat Siddiquialso canceled the bail [JURIST report] that was granted to Musharraf last week. Also last week the Pakistan Supreme Court delayed Musharraf's treason hearing [JURIST report] until this week to give his 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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