Pak prosecutors to ask court to begin impounding Musharraf's assets

Pak prosecutors to ask court to begin impounding Musharraf's assets

Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindi-based court had given Musharraf a week to respond to the charges against him after declaring him a proclaimed offender or fugitive on May 30.

Musharraf, currently living in self-exile outside Pakistan, has not submitted his response to the court and no lawyer appeared on his behalf before the judge.

The court had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to print advertisements in national newspapers giving details about the designation of Musharraf as a proclaimed offender and this was done on June 1, officials said.

The advertisements clearly mentioned that the court had set a seven-day deadline for Musharraf to respond to the charges levelled against him.

The deadline had expired today, officials said.

The advertisements further said that if Musharraf did not appear in court or appoint a lawyer to appear on his behalf, the procedure to impound his moveable and immovable assets will be started.

Prosecutors from the FIA are expected to ask the court to begin the procedure for impounding Musharraf's assets at the next hearing of the case on June 11.

The trial of five suspects, including a would-be suicide bomber, suspected of involvement in former premier Benazir Bhutto's killing has been held up for several months due to Musharraf's refusal to cooperate with investigators.

The prosecutors have informed the judge that Musharraf was aware of the trial underway in Pakistan.

The anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf in February after investigators declared him an "absconder" and told the judge that the former military ruler was not cooperating in the probe.

Investigators have alleged that Musharraf's regime had failed to provide adequate security to Bhutto after she returned to Pakistan from self-exile in 2007.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber after she had addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi in December the same year.

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