Treason case against Musharraf adjourned till November 19

Updated 24 Oct 2019

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The hearing of the high treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf  will resume on November 19. — AFP/File
The hearing of the high treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf will resume on November 19. — AFP/File

A special court in Islamabad adjourned the hearing of a high treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf till November 19, after the absconder's counsel requested the court to do so.

Earlier this month, the court had declared that it would hear the case on a daily basis with effect from October 24 (today). In a previous hearing in September, the court had also passed the same order saying the proceedings in the treason trial would resume on a daily basis from October 8.

While hearing the case today, a three-member bench headed by Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth summoned the interior secretary in the next hearing.

At the onset of the hearing, an application was submitted on behalf of Musharraf's counsel Raza Bashir for the deferment of the hearing due to his health. According to the plea, Bashir was unable to appear in the court because of dengue fever. The plea was granted.

The previous hearing of the case on October 8 was also adjourned for the same reason on the lawyer's request.

The court, however, made it clear that this was the last opportunity and that a further delay would not be granted.

Justice Seth remarked that the government terminated the services of the entire prosecution team in the case.

"Can the government terminate the services of the prosecution team in this way?" the judge asked.

Justice Seth asked Prosecutor Dr Tariq Hassan if he had received any notification in this regard, to which the prosecutor responded that he hadn't received any notification but had heard a rumour.

Justice Nazar Akbar directed the prosecutor to continue discharging his duties until he receives a notification.

The court summoned the interior secretary to explain under which law the prosecution team was detached from the case.

Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Seth was tasked with hearing the case by the federal government after the retirement of Justice Tahira Safdar — who was earlier heading the court.

The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.

He was booked in the treason case in December 2013. He was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.