Pak court tells Pervez Musharraf to appear on Thursday or face arrest

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 19:49

Zee Media Bureau

Islamabad: A special court constituted for the treason trial against Pakistan`s former President Pervez Musharraf ordered him to be present in the court on Thursday by all means, reports said Wednesday.

Justice Faisal Arab said that an arrest warrant would be issued against Musharraf if he did not appear in the court tomorrow, reported a Pak media channel.

Musharraf failed to show up at the court today with his lawyers citing the security risk in the wake of explosives found on the route from his residence to the court on Dec 24, when his first hearing was adjourned for today.

Even today, explosives were found on the same route, said Police officer Nayyar Saleem.

Also on Dec 30, few packets of explosives were found outside the sprawling Chak Shahzad farmhouse of Musharraf.

During the trial, which began without Musharraf, his lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasturi expressed concern at the security issue saying that even the judges` lives were at risk, if any bombing took place outside the court, reported a Pakistani news channel.

Citing security threat, the 70-year old General`s lawyers argued that if anything happened to Musharraf, the court would be responsible for it.

To which, Justice Faisal Arab, who is heading the special court bench, said that the courts proceeded even in face of wars and that merely due to security concerns, the court could not halt its proceedings.

Musharraf faces treason charges for having abrogated the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007 by imposing an Emergency and is liable to face life imprisonment or death penalty is found guilty.

Seeking to adjourn the case for five weeks, Musharraf`s lawyers also contended that the former President had imposed an Emergency in 2007 in his capacity as military chief and thus he could only be tried by a military court.

Earlier this Sunday, Musharraf had claimed that the treason trial was a case of “vendetta”against him.

 “I would say the whole Army is upset. I have led the Army from the front,” Musharraf told reporters at his farmhouse. “I have no doubt with the feedback that I received that the whole army is totally with me on this issue.”

It is the fist time in he country`s history that a former military chief is standing trial.



First Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 14:18

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