ISLAMABAD: The special court trying former president Pervez Musharraf for treason rejected on Friday his plea to seek details of the over 1,000 ‘abettors’ who had met him before the imposition of Nov 3, 2007 emergency.
However, the court left the door open for the retired general to file such an application in the future when Justice Faisal Arab called the current petition “premature”.
In its order, the court said, “It is held that the application in hand has been filed at a stage which is premature for the exercise of the powers available in the referred provisions. The accused shall however be at liberty to seek production of the documents during the course of evidence.”
According to the order, Mr Musharraf’s trial will begin when “for the purpose of recording of evidence, the matter is adjourned to June 17”.
Farogh Nasim accuses prosecution of tampering with report
In his petition, the former president’s counsel Farogh Nasim had requested the court to summon the details of parliamentarians who attended the 44th session of the National Assembly on November 7, 2007, where the proclamation of emergency had been unanimously endorsed through a resolution.
According to Barrister Nasim, all those who suggested, endorsed or implemented the November 3 emergency should be charged as conspirators, collaborators and abettors.
He also claimed that the prosecution had tampered with the investigation report because instead of including all the evidence, it only incorporated select documents in the inquiry report in an attempt to single out the former general.
Mr Nasim maintained that his client proclaimed the emergency in his capacity as chief of army staff (COAS), but he relinquished that charge on Nov 27, 2007. His successor, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, did not lift the emergency until nearly two weeks after his appointment, on Dec 15, 2007.
The attorney insisted that in such circumstances, Gen Kayani should also be treated as an accused in the treason case, but the government had only filed a complaint against his client.
Lead prosecutor Akram Sheikh argued before the court that the details the former president was seeking should be obtained by his legal team, adding that all available material had already been handed over to the defence.
Akram Sheikh said that the validity of the current plea would depend solely on evidence yet to be recorded. This is why the court, in an earlier order on March 7, 2014, had held that the decision to involve any other person(s) would depend on the evidence that comes on the record at a later stage.
Our Staff Reporter in Karachi adds: Mr Musharraf requested the Sindh High Court on Friday to reduce the 15-day period given to the federal government for filing appeal against its judgment that removed his name from the exit control list.
The request was made through an application filed by Barrister Farogh Naseem in the SHC.
Talking to reporters at the SHC, Mr Naseem expressed the hope that the court would make a decision regarding Mr Musharraf’s early departure by Saturday as his mother’s health is deteriorating.
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2014
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