A Pakistan court on Monday granted bail to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over a deadly raid on a radical mosque, bringing closer his possible release after more than six months of house arrest.
The ruling by an Islamabad district court means the ex-general is on bail in all the cases brought against him since his return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile, including one relating to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
But the 70-year-old is likely to remain under heavy guard at his villa on the edge of Islamabad, where he has been under house arrest since April, because of serious threats to his life.
Judge Wajid Ali approved bail on condition Musharraf pays bonds totalling 200,000 rupees ($2,000). The trial is due to start on November 11.
Defence lawyer Afshan Adil told AFP the money would be paid on Tuesday, but rejected rumours that have circulated in recent months that Musharraf would try to leave Pakistan.
“He is not going abroad and will stay in the country,” she said.
Musharraf’s name is currently on the interior ministry’s “exit control list”, meaning he cannot leave Pakistan without the approval of the government.
Musharraf was arrested last month over the deadly 2007 raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad, just a day after he was given bail in the last of three major cases against him dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.
Tariq Asad, a lawyer for the Red Mosque, condemned the bail ruling and said an appeal would be launched in the high court.