Court seeks Musharraf’s itinerary next month

Published November 20, 2018
The bench assures that foolproof security would be provided to the former military ruler if he returns.— AFP/File
The bench assures that foolproof security would be provided to the former military ruler if he returns.— AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed the counsel for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to provide an itinerary of his client next month, as his return will enable a special court to proceed in the high treason case.

As Gen Musharraf, the sole accused in the high treason case, has been absconding since March 2016, there has been no progress in it for the past two years.

The special court seized with the high treason case had decided to move forward last month and constituted a commission to record a statement of Gen Musharraf under Section 342 of the criminal procedure code after which the prosecution and defence counsel were supposed to advance final arguments. However, defence counsel Barrister Salman Safdar challenged the recording of testimony through the commission last week. He argued that there was no concept of recording a statement of an accused person through a commission in criminal proceedings.

When the IHC division bench resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Barrister Safdar requested it to adjourn the proceedings explaining that the special court was lying dormant after the retirement of its president, former chief justice of the Lahore High Court Yawar Ali.

The bench, however, suggested to the counsel to visit his client in Dubai and convince him to face trial and bring the ex-army chief back if possible. “It would be good for Gen Musharraf if he comes back and face trial,” remarked the bench.

The IHC directed the counsel to consult Gen Musharraf and submit his travel itinerary at the next hearing. The bench also assured Barrister Safdar that foolproof security would be provided to the former military ruler if he returned.

The court adjourned further hearing till the second week of December.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018

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