Special court rejects Musharraf’s plea seeking trial in military court; announces to indict him on 11th March

Special court rejects Musharraf’s plea seeking trial in military court; announces to indict him on 11th March

musrffISLAMABAD: The Special Court constituted to try former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf for treason charges rejected his application through which he had sought transfer of the case to military court on Friday. Special court has summoned Parvez Musharraf on the 11th of March for indictment. Meanwhile the court would announce the verdict on the plea challenging the nomination of special court judges would be delivered on 4th of March.

Announcing its verdict about the jurisdiction of the court, a three member bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali Khan said only the special court is authorized to hear the high treason case.

The bench in its judgment said that the army act which has been referred to in the petition no longer exists. It further stated that Parvez Musharraf is no longer a military officer; therefore, the military court is not authorized to hear his case.

The court said the Army Act of 1977 was repealed in 1981, therefore, under the Army Act of 1976 only the special court is subjected to hear the case of high treason.

The court later adjourned the case till March 4 and issued summons to Musharraf to appear on March 11 for charge-sheeting.

“This application is dismissed,” Judge Faisal Arab said at the end of Friday’s hearing.

After the announcement of the judgment by special court one of the lawyers of Musharraf, Rana Ijaz came on the rostrum and said the court decision was not acceptable for them, adding that the court is playing the role of killer, who kill someone while receiving money. Upon this Justice Faisal Arab said that this statement fall under contempt of court, adding that the lawyer should give this statement before the media instead of court.

The special court will now continue to hear the treason case against the former dictator. The review petition against any decision of the court could not be filed in special court but the final decision could be challenged in Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“This decision to try Musharraf in a civilian court is factually wrong. The facts have been twisted,” Musharraf’s lawyer Ahmad Raza Kasuri told reporters afterwards. He said that the matter of Musharraf would be decided by the people of the country instead of courts. He said that the special court did not kept facts in mind while delivering the verdict. Kasuri said that the views of Rana Ijaz about the court verdict were his personal thinking and not the whole legal team of Musharraf.

Musharraf had filed three applications that challenged the appointment of the head of the prosecution team, the establishment and the jurisdiction of the special court.

His team has said more than once that unless the jurisdiction of the court was decided, Parvez Musharraf could not be indicted.

The 70-year-old is facing treason charges, which can carry the death penalty, over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007 while he was president.

The former general has been in a military hospital since falling ill with heart trouble while travelling to court on Jan 2.

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