Day after bail granted, Pakistan’s Musharraf arrested in new case

Lawyer says there's 'no evidence' in cleric's death in raid



ISLAMABAD — Just a day after he was given bail in a case that was expected to release him from nearly six months of house arrest, police on Thursday once again arrested former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, said his spokesman and lawyer.

The former general has faced a roller coaster ride of legal troubles ever since his return to the country in March after four years in self-exile.

The fact that he’s being held accountable like any other Pakistani citizen has undermined the once-inviolable position the powerful military has had in Pakistan society.

Musharraf appeared to get a respite from his legal problems Wednesday when a Pakistani court gave him bail in one of three cases in which he had been arrested. Since he had already been given bail in the other two cases, he would be allowed to go free as soon as the paperwork was filed, said his lawyers at the time.

They even spoke of him going to visit his ailing mother in Dubai.

But a spokesman for Musharraf said before he even had a chance to go free, police arrested him Thursday for his alleged role in the death of a radical cleric killed during a raid on a hard-line mosque in Islamabad 2007.

“It is part of a political victimization and nothing else, but we will continue our legal battle to win freedom for Pervez Musharraf,” said the spokesman, Mohammed Amjad.

A lawyer for Musharraf, Ahmad Raza Qasuri, confirmed the arrest but said there was no evidence against his client.

“There is nothing to worry about because it is virtually a case of no evidence,” Qasuri said. “It was a state action, a military action.”

The other cases he faces have to do with his alleged role in the 2007 death of Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto, the death of a Baluch separatist leader killed by the army, and the detention of Pakistani judges in 2007.

Musharraf ordered the raid against the Red Mosque after students there had begun harassing massage parlors, stores in the capital that sold music and other targets that they felt promoted vulgarity.

The people holed up in the mosque fought for days, and the raid ended with nearly 100 people dead, including at least 10 army commandos. The army seized a large cache of arms from the mosque when the siege was over.