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2 Pakistani Police Officers Sentenced in Bhutto Murder Trial

FILE - Supporters of Pakistan's slain leader Benazir Bhutto take part in a memorial in Lahore, Pakistan, Dec. 27, 2015.

Two police officers have been sentenced to 17 years in prison Thursday for failing to protect assassinated former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

The officers are the first two people to be convicted in Bhutto's murder case after the nearly decade-long trial.

The judge at the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi also declared exiled former president Pervez Musharraf an "absconder" and ordered his property in Pakistan seized.

Musharraf took power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and was president when Bhutto was assassinated. In addition to other charges including treason, Musharraf was charged in 2013 of being culpable in Bhutto's murder, an allegation he denies.

Musharraf has been abroad since 2016, having been allowed to leave the country for medical treatment. Following Wednesday's court decision, Musharraf legally must be arrested and brought to trial if he returns to Pakistan.

The court acquitted five others Thursday who had been accused of being Taliban militants involved in the conspiracy of killing Bhutto.

Bhutto, who twice served as Pakistan's prime minister, was assassinated in December 2007 in a gun-and-bomb attack while leaving a political campaign rally in Rawalpindi, just weeks after returning to Pakistan from years in self-imposed exile. Authorities claimed at the time that Taliban militants were behind the attack.