LAHORE - Former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf may get into a serious difficulty if he is prosecuted for the murder of two-time premier Benazir Bhutto, who lost her life on December 27, 2007 at Liaqaut Bagh in Rawalpindi after addressing a mammoth public rally for her electioneering. According to jurists, the countrys biggest probe authority the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has so far not presented a complete challan of the case before a special court the Anti Terrorism Court but seeks 'association of Musharraf in investigation of the case who, according to the reports, the FIA believes is an accused. Musharraf is nominated accused in the FIR and the investigating officer (IO) was under obligation to interrogate him on the offence as such and Musharraf had an opportunity to give his point of view in defence and prove his innocence on the basis of which, at the level of trial, he would be examined. But, he appears to have missed the first option, getting himself declared 'absconder by the investigators, which means fugitive in the law. When the court may declaring him proclaimed offender (PO) on the next hearing as prayed by the FIA prosecutor, which comes through a procedure under the Section 88 of CrPC when the prosecution has excursed all tool (options) to summon the accused. However, expert on criminology Sardar Khurram Latif Khan Khosa says this is not the stage before the court of law yet. Khosa says an accused is declared PO after notice has been served on him and a proclamation issued against him, and this stage is yet to be crossed. However, he says once an accused is declared PO, the investigators can confiscate his property and even then he does not appear, his trial under the Section 512 of the CrPC can been separated from others and initiated when the accused has been held on return from abroad. Even then, he says, the law gives chance to the accused to surrender to the law/court and present his defence at the stage of trial. As to the initiating ex parte proceedings against Musharraf in case he does not appear despite repeated calls, Khosa adds, the Anti-Terrorism Law being a special law, allows ex parte proceedings and punishment to the accused in absentia, but this provision has been interpreted through superior court judgments which have declared sentence in absentia not meeting the end of justice hence not permissible. According to another jurists opinion, is that court cannot declare Musharraf absconder at this stage and can just issue notice to summon him after the FIA has found him accused. As to declaring him absconder or PO under the Section 87 and 88 of CrPC, he says, this situation does not come instantly but after an accused is failed to appear before the IO, the Court gives him one months time to appear before the court and defend his nomination in the FIR and if does not do it within the stipulated time, court may declare him PO on the basis of incriminating evidence against him. And in that event, the DG FIA, with the permission of the court can seek extradition of the accused through Interpol. And if that occurs, the former president may be in serious trouble for Benazirs murder is high profile one being anxiously waited by the whole nation to reach it logical conclusion. Senior lawyer and former Punjab advocate general Ashtar Ausaf Ali says the IO declares Musharraf accused and absconder whose authentication, however, would be subject to court acceptance on basis of evidence. In strict terminology of law, absconder is one who knows a case against and intentionally runs away from the law but in the instant case, everyone knows Musharrraf has been abroad since long. The former AG says no to the proposition if Musharraf presents his defence in writing from abroad and adds that personal appearance is a must in investigations, however, it would be different case if the court allowed him exemption from appearance and let him provide his defence through writing or through a counsel. Ashtar also foresees very serious consequence for Musharraf if he is charged sheeted in this high profile murder.