Treason case: Musharraf granted exemption from appearance

Published January 6, 2014
Police officers stand guard at the gate of the Special Court, formed to try former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf for treason in Islamabad.— 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.— Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The special court, hearing the treason trial against Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, granted exemption to the former military ruler from attending today's hearing of the case while adjourning the hearing until tomorrow, DawnNews reported.

The court also instructed for medical reports of the former military strongman to be submitted before it by 11:30 am tomorrow.

Earlier during the day, a three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, resumed the hearing of the 'high treason' case under Article 6 of the Constitution against Musharraf, who has been charged by the government of abrogating, subverting, suspending, holding in abeyance and attempting to conspire against the 1973 Constitution by declaring emergency and overthrowing the superior judiciary in Nov 2007.

During the hearing, Justice Arab asked Advocate Anwer Mansoor, one of Musharraf's counsels, to submit the statement regarding Musharraf's absence from today's hearing.

Mansoor said he was not able to meet his client and had no information regarding his absence.

When Justice Arab probed for an explanation, Mansoor replied that the condition of the former president's health was known to all and that he would not be able to attend the hearing.

The bench adjourned the hearing until tomorrow and reserved its ruling over Musharraf's absence from today's proceedings.

The ruling, which granted exemption to the former president, was announced 15 minutes later along with the instructions for the submission of his (Musharraf's) medical reports before the bench by 11:30 am tomorrow.

Moreover, police personnel barred the entry of media persons, who had arrived to cover the hearing, to the court premises. Media representatives staged a protest against the police action.

Earlier on Sunday, Musharraf's senior counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri had said that his client would not make a scheduled appearance at his treason trial because of an ongoing illness.

The government had on Nov 17 announced its decision to formally prosecute the former president under Article 6 of the Constitution.

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