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Army chief can’t be court-martialed according to army act: Prosecutor

Army chief can’t be court-martialed according to army act: Prosecutor

protISLAMABAD: Prosecutor Akram Sheikh, during hearing of the treason case against the former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf, has contended that army chief cannot be court-martialed according to army act , saying that there is no mention of high treason in the army act. Akram Sheikh argued that Islamabad High Court has already rejected the petition seeking transfer of Musharraf’s case to military court.

Three-member bench of the special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab on Wednesday conducted hearing of the high treason case against the former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Justice Faisal Arab said that there would be no further delay on the miscellaneous petitions, saying that the court would give its verdict on the miscellaneous petitions on February 18

Defence Lawyer Rana Ejaz pleaded the court that it should stop prosecutor Akram Sheikh for providing arguments as they have challenged his appointment. The court rejected the plea made by the defence counsel

Akram Sheikh informed the court that the special court is the appropriate and legal forum for the treason trial against the former president. He contended that the case cannot be shifted to a military court as the apex court has outlawed the amendments done in 1977.

Rana Ejaz informed the court that Pervez Musharraf cannot appear in the court as he is ill and he should be indicted instead of his client. He added that he will be proud to be sentenced as he was a minister during Musharraf’s governance.

The special court rejected the former president Pervez Musharraf’s counsels’ plea to stop the prosecutor Akram Sheikh from making arguments in the treason case against Pervez Musharraf.

During the hearing, Pervez Musharraf’s Counsel Ahmad Raza Kasuri raising objection against the prosecutor Akram Sheikh made a plea that he should be stopped from making arguments, as he (Kasuri) has already challenged Akram Sheikh’s appointment.

However, the court directed Akram Sheikh to continue his arguments.

Akram Sheikh said that Islamabad High Court has already rejected the petition praying for the transfer of high treason case to the military court.

He said that the acceptance of the order of constitutional court was mandatory for other courts. Akram Sheikh further said that there was no mention of high treason in the Army Act.

Pervez Musharraf’s Counsel Rana Ejaz in his argument said that his client is under treatment in the hospital and offered himself for punishment as he was a minister in Musharraf’s government, it would be an honour for him.

Justice Faisal Arab remarked that on the one hand you say the court has no jurisdiction and on the other asking for announcement of punishment, saying that the accused has yet not even confessed the crime; you are asking to announce punishment.

The court rejected Ejaz’s plea and replied that Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers do not accept the jurisdiction of the court and request the court to award the sentence on the other hand.

Akram Sheikh argued that relying on the section 94 of the Act is baseless, saying that the treason case against Pervez Musharraf cannot be transferred to military court.

Special Court adjourned the hearing of the treason case against Pervez Musharraf till February 18 and ordered Pervez Musharraf to appear in the court on the next hearing.

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