Sharif denies murder charge


Karachi - Three months after he was ousted in a coup, the former Pakistan prime minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, and six others were formally charged yesterday with attempted murder, kidnapping, terrorism, abetment and hijacking. All seven pleaded not guilty. The judge dropped allegations of waging war against Pakistan, but a hijacking conviction can mean the death penalty.

The charges stem from October 12th when a plane carrying the military leader, Gen Pervez Musharraf, and about 200 passengers from Sri Lanka was briefly denied the right to land at Karachi. Mr Sharif had sacked Mr Musharraf earlier that day but after the plane landed the military chief overthrew the prime minister and his government.