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May 20, 2017

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Musharraf must appear in court at all costs: Special Court

Musharraf must appear in court at all costs: Special Court

ISLAMABAD: The three-member bench of special court headed by Justice Yahya Afridi Friday continued its hearing of the high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf. 

During the court proceedings, a representative of the interior ministry confirmed that the government was ready to provide Musharraf foolproof security upon his return. Musharraf has to appear before the court under any circumstance now, Justice Afridi observed. 

The ministry also submitted details regarding Musharraf’s property holdings to the court in which it stated that a report regarding the former president’s house in the Army Housing Scheme has yet to be submitted by the Director Military Lands while the ministry has also yet to receive a response from General Headquarters regarding the accused’s property on Khayaban-i-Faisal, Karachi. 

The report by the interior ministry also stated that though the Islamabad Commissioner had confirmed Musharraf’s ownership of Chak Shahzad farmhouse, reports regarding his properties in Lahore, Karachi and Gwadar are yet to be furnished. 

Expressing displeasure with the incomplete report, the court ordered the ministry to furnish full details regarding the accused’s properties, failing which the administrators of DHA Lahore and Karachi would be summoned to court. 

Representing Musharraf, Akhtar Shah maintained that his client had no residence in Pakistan as all his properties had been forfeited. He added that the former president was refraining from returning to the country due to security threats. Based on this, Shah pleaded to the court to adjourn the hearing to a later date. 

On the other hand, the government’s lawyer Akram Sheikh insisted that the trial had been completed. There is no need for the accused to submit a statement under Section 342, Sheikh told the court. The court must announce a verdict now. Responding to Sheikh Justice Yawar Ali said the court has to question the accused under Section 342. To this, Sheikh insisted that instead of waiting for Pervez Musharraf to return to the country, it would be sufficient for the defendant to submit a written reply.

Nonetheless, Musharraf should surrender in court and we will provide security to him, Sheikh said assuring a similar level of security enjoyed by Musharraf when he was president. A fugitive cannot dictate his terms, he added. The government has no ill intentions, he assured. The next hearing has been scheduled for July 18, 2017.

 

 

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