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BBC, AL JAZEERA

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RAWALPINDI - Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former military ruler, was formally indicted Monday on three charges linked to the 2007 assassination of his rival and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The prosecutor at the Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court said “he was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder,” the BBC reported.

Musharraf denies the accusations, and his lawyer dismissed the charges as “baseless.” The case was adjourned until August 27, but Musharraf stays under house arrest at his villa on the edge of the capital Islamabad, according to Al Jazeera.

The former military strongman returned from self-imposed exile earlier this year to campaign for his party during the May general election, but was disqualified from standing because of the allegations against him.

Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of another assassinated Pakistani Prime Minister, was killed during an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007 in a gun and bomb attack. Musharraf blamed the assassination on the Pakistani Taliban.

In a country ruled by the military for more than half of its existence, bringing charges against a former military chief is an unprecedented move, analysts say.

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Benazir Bhutto (rhyme reverie)

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