Musharraf goes on trial for Benazir Bhutto murder

The formal trial of Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007 began on Tuesday.

"The trial began with the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi recording evidence of a witness," state prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar said.

He said four witnesses were summoned but only one turned up to testify. Azhar said he was unsure how long the trial would take.

General Musharraf was not present in court as he was excused from personal appearance for security reasons.

Gen Musharraf, was President of Pakistan at the time of former premier Bhutto's death. He has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of murder. If convicted, he can be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

Apart from Musharraf, seven more persons, including members of the Taliban and two senior police officers, have been indicted.

Musharraf has denied the charges and promised to prove his innocence. He is currently being held at his farm house in a suburb of Islamabad.

Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber shortly after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.