Pakistan's Musharraf charged with Bhutto's murder

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Pakistan's ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf was indicted on three counts Tuesday over the 2007 murder of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack, a prosecutor said.

Charging a former army chief is an unprecedented move in a country ruled for more than half of its life by the military and where the army is still considered the most powerful institution.

It was the second time that Musharraf, who ruled the nuclear-armed state from 1999-2008, had been summoned to face charges of criminal conspiracy and the murder of Bhutto in December 2007.

"He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder," public prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP at the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi hearing the case.

Musharraf denies the charges and the case has been adjourned until August 27.

He has been under house arrest on the edge of the capital Islamabad since April 19, but appeared before the court in person.

"The charges were read out to him in the court. He denied the charges," said Azhar.

"The case has been adjourned until August 27 for evidence to be brought," he added.