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Pakistan court orders Musharraf to appear before on May 2 in treason case

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

PTI Islamabad, Pakistan Mar 28, 2019, 09.08 PM (IST)

A special court hearing a treason case against Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Thursday ordered him to appear before it on May 2 and asked him to reply to a questionnaire.

The previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against the ex-Army chief in 2013 over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007, which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

The trial has not seen much progress since Musharraf, 75, left for Dubai in March 2016 after his name was removed from the Exit Control List. 

He has not returned since and is said to be suffering from Amyloidosis, a rare condition for which he has been admitted to a hospital.

The special court has declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show.

The case has not progressed as Musharraf is required to record a statement under law for which his presence is necessary.

Musharraf's lawyer Salman Safdar informed the court that the former Pakistan president wished to appear before it on May 13, the Dawn reported. 

Upon hearing this, the three-member bench, headed by Justice Tahira Safdar, directed Musharraf to appear in the court before Ramzan.

"If he can come to court on May 13, Musharraf can also appear before the court on May 2. If he doesn't, the court will pass an appropriate order regarding recording his statement," Justice Tahira was quoted as saying by the report.

The defence lawyer was also handed a questionnaire that Musharraf is expected to answer. The court, while hearing the case on March 19, had ordered to prepare the questionnaire for the former military ruler.

Musharraf's lawyer also submitted an application to the court seeking dismissal of the case and argued that it should be treated like any other case. 
"You cannot record a statement (under Section 342) in Musharraf's absence. If the suspect is to be punished, his presence in the court is necessary," he said.

A conviction for high treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Story highlights

The previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against the ex-Army chief in 2013 over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.