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Complainant, Musharraf’s counsel remain absent

Updated August 25, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24: The complainant, witnesses and the defence counsel in the judges detention case seem to be least interested in the trial of former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf as they remained absent from the Saturday’s proceedings.

The complainant in the judges detention case Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman has already left for UK last month.

Ghumman, however, prior to leaving the country also recorded his statement before the area magistrate of Secretariat on July 18, 2013, alleging that Musharraf’s security officer Colonel (retired) Ilyas had given him and his family members life threats if he did not withdraw the complaint.

According to the prosecution, the summon for in person appearance of Ghumman has been delivered at his residence in Islamabad but his son returned the court notice saying that his father is abroad and he could not receive summon on behalf of Mr Ghumman.

For Saturday, in addition to the complainant Ghumman, the prosecution had also summoned 29 witnesses – 5 government officials and 24 lawyers – but except for three constables and a public prosecutor Amir Nadeem Tabish others were remained absent.

A witness advocate Mohammad Anwaar Dar told Dawn that the lawyers had no personal enmity with Gen Musharraf or had blood relationship with the judges but they became the witnesses in judges’ detention case for expressing solidarity with the judiciary.

“We were disappointed to see that neither the judges who remained under detention were serious, nor is the government taking interest in pursuing the said case,” he claimed.

During the Saturday’s proceedings, public prosecutor Amir Nadeem produced three witnesses – constable Alamdar of Islamabad police and two constables of special branch Mehmood Shah and Mazhar Iqbal – before the court and requested the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge to record their statement.

Since the main counsel for Gen Musharraf Ilyas Siddiqui was also not present in the court, a junior defence counsel requested the Judge to adjourn the proceedings as Mr Siddiqui was representing Musharraf in Bugti murder case in ATC Quetta.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the matter till September 10 and once again summoned all the 29 witnesses along with Aslam Ghumman, the complainant in the judges’ detention case.