Security was tight around the court in Rawalpindi, the garrison city where former premier Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack on December 27, as dozens of police rushed the accused men inside, a correspondent said.
After proceedings lasting only a few minutes the judge sent Aitzaz Shah, Hasnain Gul, Abdul Rashid, Sher Zaman and Rafaqat -- who goes by one name -- to the city's Adiala Jail on judicial remand, a court official said.
"They are facing charges of involvement in Bhutto's murder and several other suicide attacks and bomb blasts in Rawalpindi," the official said on condition of anonymity.
They will next appear before the judge on March 10, he said, adding that the provincial government will decide whether the proceedings will be held in the district court or inside the heavily secured jail premises.
Police arrested Shah and Zaman from the troubled northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan in January and the other three from Rawalpindi in February.
Gul and Rafaqat confessed in February to helping and providing shelter to the suicide attacker, identified as Bilal.
Last Mod: 06 Mart 2008, 13:44