Arrest warrant issued for former American Ally President Musharraf
Arrest warrant issued for former Pakistani President Musharraf
Prosecutors claim he was aware that Taliban extremists planned to kill the former prime minister but that he failed to stop her murder in Rawalpindi.
The warrant could end his plans to return to Pakistan to contest elections.
Mr Musharraf has lived in London ever since being forced from power in 2008, months after Mrs Bhutto was killed in a bomb and gun attack as she left an election rally.
On Saturday, his spokesman said he had no intention of returning to face court and that the warrant was politically motivated.
"How can the president of a country be made responsible for the non-provision of security? It's totally ridiculous, you cannot pin criminal responsibility on a president for that," said Fawad Chaudhry.
Mrs Bhutto died while travelling in an election motorcade in the city of Rawalpindi in December 2007. She had returned from exile only weeks earlier and had twice served as prime minister of Pakistan.
Pakistan has swirled with conspiracy theories ever since, and many people have rejected the official explanation that she was killed by the Pakistan Taliban.
A United Nations investigation published last year said Mr Musharraf's government did not do enough to ensure Mrs Bhutto's security and criticised steps taken by investigators after her death, including hosing down the crime scene and failing to perform an autopsy.
In December, two senior police officers, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, were arrested for alleged dereliction of duty.
On Saturday, the prosecution at the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi said the ongoing investigation depended on questioning Mr Musharraf.
They said they had repeatedly tried to contact the former president and had sent him a questionnaire which has not been returned.
Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, special prosecutor, said that the two officers told an investigation team that Musharraf himself had ordered the removal of a security detail on the day Mrs Bhutto died.
"The report said it was a broad conspiracy involving Pervez Musharraf, two police officials and terrorists," he said after the closed-door hearing that took place in Adiala prison.
Mr Musharraf was head of the army when he seized power in 1999. He now lives in self-imposed exile but has repeatedly said he plans to return to Pakistan to contest election due by 2013.