Pakistan: Pervez Musharraf approaches HC as verdict on high-treason case nears

WION Web Team Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 23, 2019, 11.04 PM(IST)

File photo of Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf Photograph:( Others )

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Musharraf's petition claimed that the special court reserved its order without hearing his argument on November 19.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has filed a petition in Lahore High Court (LHC) against a special court's judgment in a high-treason case scheduled to be announced days from now. 

Musharraf's lawyer, Khwaja Ahmed Tariq Rahim argued that the reserving of verdict on November 19 was "unconstitutional and void". The petition asked for suspending the reserved verdict and urged for staying the trial till Musharraf recovers to good health and physically appear before the
court, Dawn reported. 

Musharraf's petition claimed that the special court reserved its order without hearing his argument on November 19.

The petition urged for re-initiation of the trial. It also said the federation of Pakistan and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) "be directed to conduct a proper and unbiased investigation including the names of all alleged aiders and abettors for the proper appreciation of facts and evidence at trial".

An independent medical board "at the expense of the petitioner" be constituted to assess the present condition of the accused, the petition said. 

It further said that the petitioner be granted "constitutional right to a fair trial and audience in the instant trial" as per the law. 

Furthermore, it urged the court that the section of Criminal Law Amendments (Special Court) Act, 1976, which denies the accused adjournment even on the grounds of illness be suspended and declared unconstitutional. 

The high court will hear the petition next on November 25.

Meanwhile, the special court's verdict on high-treason case is scheduled to be announced on November 28. 

Musharraf is indicted for suspending the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country and detaining judges of higher courts, among others. 

On Nov 3, 2007, Musharraf, then president of Pakistan, declared emergency that carried till the mid of December. Pakistan's Constitution remained suspended during that period. 

The former dictator was booked in the high treason case in December 2013 and the case was pending since then. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the entire evidence was presented to the court in September the same year. 

However, the case lingered on and the former president fled to Dubai on grounds of seeking medical treatment and never returned back.