World Bulletin / News Desk
Amid exchange of hot words between the defense lawyers and prosecutors, a special court which is trying Pakistan’s former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf for high treason, on Monday gave him one more day exemption from appearance before the court on medical grounds, and adjourned the hearing for Tuesday.
This is the fourth consecutive time when the former military ruler, who is currently be treated at an armed forces hospital in Islamabad for a “heart attack” has not appeared before the three-member bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab.
Musharraf is being tried for high treason for imposing an emergency in the country on November 3, 2007 and holding the constitution in abeyance.
When the hearing began on Monday, Anwer Mansoor Khan, one of Musharraf’s counsels, informed the judges that his client could not appear before the court as “his condition is still not well enough”.
However, the chief prosecutor Akram Sheikh remarked that General Musharraf had taken refuge under the army’s wing triggering an exchange of hot words between defense and prosecution lawyers, which could only be controlled after Justice Faisal Arab strictly interrupted and strictly barred the two sides from hurling remarks against each other.
The court granting exemption to General Musharraf for one more day, summoned him on Tuesday directing his lawyers to produce the medical report of their client.
General Musharraf, an active swimmer, and a former commando, and not publically known to have any heart problem, suffered a heart attack soon after he left his residence on Thursday noon to appear before a special civilian court that began his trial in high treason case on December 24 last year.
Musharraf has continuously been avoiding appearing before the court since December 24 as his lawyers assert that their client is facing serious security threats from Taliban and other militant outfits.
They seek exemption for their client from appearing before court, however the judges rejected their plea thrice insisting that the former military dictator could be exempted in the case, thus he must appear before the bench.
General Musharraf has already filed a petition at the Supreme Court requesting for referring his trial in high treason case to the army court. The apex court is going to hear his petition challenging a judgment of Islamabad High Court that had rejected Musharraf’s plea for trying him in an army court rather than a civilian court on December 22 declaring that the former military chief was no more a serving soldier, on Tuesday, January 8.
According to the constitution, a serving army personnel or officer can only be tried by an army court.
Musharraf who came into power after toppling the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on October 12, 1999, was forced to resign in August, 2008 when the then ruling party Pakistan Peoples Party and opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML) threatened to impeach him.
The federal government in November had appointed three judges for the special court to try Musharraf for high treason under Article 6.
Musharraf is also facing trial in murder cases of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and former Chief Minister of Southwestern Baluchistan, and a veteran politician, Nawab Akbar Bugti. He is on bail in the said cases.Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2014, 11:56