Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturday rejected an application against the confiscation of former president Pervez Musharraf's property and freezing of his bank accounts for his failure to appear before it in the murder case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, court officials said.

The court has already declared the former military president an "absconder" in the 2007 Bhutto assassination case as he has not agreed to clarify his position in court despite several notices and arrest warrants.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had requested the court to summon Musharraf, who was president at the time of the assassination, and has refused a request to cooperate in the investigation into Bhutto's death. The court had ordered confiscation of Musharraf's property and freezing of his bank accounts after he failed to appear and to clarify his position as to why his government had failed to provide security for Benazir Bhutto.

The former president's wife Sehba Musharraf, had filed a petition for de-freezing Musharraf's assets. She had argued in her petition that a big house in Islamabad is in her name and was gifted by her husband and the bank accounts are registered on the name of a trust for helping flood affected people.

The court remarked Saturday that its previous decision to freeze the assets and bank accounts of Pervez Musharraf was a correct verdict. Sehba Musharraf's lawyer, Ilyas Siddiqui, could not present the record of proof of her income deposited in the couple's joint bank accounts, thus the court upheld its earlier decision to seize Musharraf's assets and disposed of the petition.

The court's delivered its verdict a day after Musharraf announced to end his nearly four-year self-exile and to return home this month to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Musharraf, 69, has been living in exile in Britain and the UAE since he resigned as the president in August 2008, fearing impeachment by the Parliament.


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