Former Pakistani president acquitted of murder

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Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a popular tribal leader, was killed by security forces in 2006

Quetta, Pakistan CNN  — 

Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf and two other former officials have been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court in the killing of a Baloch nationalist leader.

Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a popular tribal leader in the volatile province of Balochistan, was killed by security forces in Balochistan’s Kohlu district in 2006. Bugti’s son, Jamil Bugti, accused the former military ruler of murder.

“No evidence could be established against the accused,” Judge Muhammad Gohar said, referring to Musharraf as well as former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao and former provincial home minister Mir Shoaib Nowsherwani.

“We will challenge this judgement,” Sohail Rajput, lawyer for Jamil Bugti, told CNN. However, Sherpao expressed satisfaction over the judgment.

Musharraf – who became president after a bloodless coup in 1999 – went into self-imposed exile in 2008 in London and later Dubai after standing down as president a year earlier. He returned to Pakistan in 2013 with the aim of running in the country’s national elections. But his plans unraveled as he became entangled in a web of court cases relating to his time in power.

Upon return to Pakistan, Musharraf faced charges of high treason over his role in imposing emergency rule in 2007, not doing enough to protect the life of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Bugti.

CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report.