Pakistani police find bomb near Pervez Musharraf’s house

Pakistani police find bomb near Pervez Musharraf’s house

Pakistani police find bomb near Pervez Musharraf’s house

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf addresses foreign media representatives at his farmhouse in Islamabad on Dec. 29 to denounce reason charges against him as a 'vendetta.' AFP photo

Pakistani officials said police have defused a bomb planted near the house of former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf, just hours before he was to appear in court in a treason case.

Police officer Nayyar Saleem said officials scanning the route to court spotted the improvised bomb along a road, about two kilometers from Musharraf’s farmhouse on Islamabad’s outskirts. Musharraf didn’t appear before the court. His lawyers cited security issues.

This is the second time police have found explosives along the path Musharraf is to take to court. Four small bombs were found along the same route on Dec. 30.

The 70-year-old stands accused over his imposition of emergency rule in November 2007, but he and his legal team have dismissed the charge as politically motivated.

Conviction could mean the death penalty or life imprisonment for Musharraf, who has faced a series of criminal cases since returning from self-imposed exile in March. Musharraf is the first former army chief to go on trial in Pakistan, setting up a potentially destabilizing clash between the government, which brought the charges, and the all-powerful military.

The retired general had denounced the treason case as a “vendetta” against him and claimed he had the backing of the military.