Musharraf moved to hospital; court grants exemption

Published January 2, 2014
Former dictator Pervez Musharraf. — File photo
Former dictator Pervez Musharraf. — File photo
Police officers stand guard at the gate of the Special Court, formed to try former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf for treason in Islamabad  January 1, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Police officers stand guard at the gate of the Special Court, formed to try former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf for treason in Islamabad January 1, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Pakistani security personnel stand guard during the case hearing of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf at a special court in Islamabad on January 1, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Pakistani security personnel stand guard during the case hearing of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf at a special court in Islamabad on January 1, 2014. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: In an interesting turn of events surrounding the treason trial of Pervez Musharraf, the former army strongman was shifted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi after suffering a “heart problem” while en route towards the special court. The court later granted the retired general exemption from appearing before it for today's proceedings and ruled that an arrest warrant was not issued against Musharraf for medical reasons.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned to Jan 6, the same date as the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan.

Earlier today, DIG Security Jan Mohammad had informed the special court that Musharraf experienced heart problem and was subsequently transported to the hospital. When informed, the judges had announced a break until 4 pm after which they issued the ruling in the light of the latest developments in the case.

Meanwhile at the hospital, doctors performed an angiography on the former president and his wife Sehba also arrived at the hospital, DawnNews quoted sources as saying.

Moreover, Musharraf also spoke to his mother on the telephone.

Earlier today, the special court which had summoned Musharraf on Jan 2, had ordered the former dictator to appear in court before 11:30, warning that an arrest warrant would be issued against him in case he failed to comply with the court's orders.

The court also had to take a short recess following a walk out staged by Musharraf's counsel today. His lawyer Anwar Mansoor had walked out of the special court citing lack of sleep due to alleged disturbances outside the door of his residence the previous night. Mansoor said he had never experienced anything like it in his 40-year career.

Moreover, the head of Musharraf's defence team, senior lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada, claimed that the chief prosecutor in the case, Advocate Akram Shaikh, had hurled threats to him via Barrister Ibrahim Satti, who is another counsel for the former president.

Advocate Pirzada had also hinted that his client may appear before the special court today. Following which, the court had taken a short recess to resolve the grievances of the disgruntled lawyer representing Musharraf.

However, after Musharraf's transfer to the hospital, the court said it would issue an order at 4 pm following consultations among the judges.

Strict security arrangements are in place on the route from Musharraf's farmhouse to the court's premises and surrounding areas. The security arrangements included mobile phone jammers, at least 1,000 police personnel, deployment of containers to cordon off traffic and bomb scanners.

The court on Jan 1, had ordered for Musharraf to appear before the bench today and had also warned of issuing a ruling in case he did not appear. Moreover, Musharraf's legal team had also filed a plea in the special court to exempt him from appearing before it on account of threats to his security.

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is being prosecuted under Article 6 of the Constitution for imposing an emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007 and for detaining members of the superior judiciary.

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