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Ex-Pakistan leader indicted in slaying

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By The Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

ISLAMABAD — Former Pakistani President and army chief Pervez Musharraf was indicted on Tuesday on murder charges related to the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a sign of how far the former strongman has fallen.

Prosecutors said Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan this year from self-imposed exile hoping to participate in elections, was charged with murder, facilitation of murder and criminal conspiracy to murder in an eight-page indictment. He reportedly made no public comments at the hearing, which was closed to the media.

“He should be tried,” public prosecutor Mohammad Azhar told reporters at the end of the 20-minute hearing.

The case was adjourned until next Tuesday, and Musharraf remains under house arrest at his farmhouse on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad. Given threats to his security, his lawyers have asked the court to exempt him from appearing personally for future hearings.

Bhutto, an iconic and charismatic leader, was killed in a suicide attack and volley of gunfire at an election rally in December 2007 in Rawalpindi, the base of Pakistani military power.

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