(ISLAMABAD) — One-time Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf was charged with murder Tuesday in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.
Musharraf, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was president and army chief at the time Bhutto and 24 other people were killed by a bomb attack in Rawalpindi.
After Bhutto’s death, the government blamed the Pakistani Taliban for the bombing. However, many suspected from the onset that Musharraf and the military, which opposed Bhutto, were involved in the assassination plot.
Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan last March after several years in exile, has essentially been under house arrest, with the current government charging him with other crimes including corruption and abuse of power since his regime began during a coup in 1999.
Meanwhile, prosecutors will present evidence against Musharraf for Bhutto’s murder at the next hearing, scheduled for Aug. 27.
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Barbara Starr, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Sheena McKenzie, CNN
Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN