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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Musharraf 'plotters' to be tried in jail
Raza Ali Abidi, defence lawyer for one of the accused leaves the court
The accused did not appear in the court
The trial of three suspected militants charged with plotting to kill Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will be held inside prison instead of in an open court.

President Musharraf
President Musharraf: Plotters 'planned attack in Karachi'
"The Home Department [in Sindh Province] has issued notification that the trial will be held inside the prison," a senior official at Karachi central jail said.

The authorities are believed to be concerned about security.

Three men, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Hanif Ayub and Mohammad Ashraf, are charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and terrorism.

Police say the militants confessed to plotting to blow up a vehicle on a main Karachi road as President Musharraf was passing through last April.

Adjournment

A court in Karachi adjourned the trial on Friday after prosecutors failed to produce the three accused men, who are being held at Karachi Central Prison.

"Police did not produce the accused persons in the court and the judges have issued a show cause notice to the jail authorities."

The defence lawyer said the notice is a formal demand for the head of Karachi Central Jail to explain the accused's absence.

It is not known if the failure to produce the men in court is related to security concerns.

The trial will resume in the prison on 19 August.

Bomb failed

In the alleged plot to kill General Musharraf, the detonator is said to have failed.

Police say the same vehicle was later used in the blast outside the US consulate building in Karachi on 14 June.

The explosion killed 12 Pakistanis.

One of the three accused is alleged to have said he was involved in planning an earlier suicide attack outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi on May 8.

Eleven French naval engineers and three Pakistanis were killed in that blast.

Police say are looking for a number of other suspects in both the assassination attempt and the bombings.

They also say that Islamic militants arrested in connection with attacking Christian targets were planning attacks on the government targets as well.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

09 Jul 02 | South Asia
29 Jun 02 | South Asia
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13 Jan 02 | South Asia
10 Jul 02 | South Asia
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