ISLAMABAD: The special court, while hearing treason case against former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf, on Thursday ordered that the former president should appear before the court on January 16 to face the trial. The court stated that the bench will issue further orders if Pervez Musharraf fails to appear before the bench. The bench said that the medical report hasn’t stated that Musharraf suffered heart attack, adding that Musharraf had already been granted exemption thrice. Musharaf will be indicted on 16 January.
The three-member special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab examined Pervez Musharraf’s medical reports prepared by a medical board in Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC).
In its order the court observed that medical report did not mention that Pervez Musharraf has suffered any heart attack.
The court also said Musharraf had been granted exemption from appearance in the court thrice earlier and added that the former president’s counsel had not submitted an application for his no-show on Thursday.
The court has also reserved its judgment on the applicability of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and ruled that it would be announced on Friday (Today).
During the hearing, the prosecution and defence lawyers had presented their arguments before the court.
Advocate Akram Sheikh had said the former president was not bed-ridden and had met his lawyers on Wednesday while he was being shifted from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the ward.
The prosecutor had requested that Musharraf’s medical report should be disregarded and that he should be summoned to the court, he added that there was no mention of Musharraf’s absence in the report.
Musharraf’s counsel, Ilyas Siddiqui had presented the former army strongman’s medical report in court along with a list of people who had undertaken medical treatment abroad on public expenditure.
Moreover, he had also submitted an application stating that the former president was suffering from a heart ailment due to which he could not appear before the court and requested for exemption to be granted to his client from appearing for Thursday’s hearing.
The court ordered Musharraf to appear before the bench on January. 16, 2014. The former president is likely to be indicted on treason charges if he appeared in the court next week.
The court stated that the bench will issue further orders if Pervez Musharraf fails to appear before the bench. The bench said that the medical report hasn’t stated that Musharraf suffered heart attack, adding that Musharraf had already been granted exemption thrice.
It is worth mentioning here that after receiving Pervez Musharraf’s medical reports from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) on Tuesday, the three-member special court, hearing the treason trial, had ruled that it would examine the reports and deliver its verdict today. The court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, had granted a two day exemption to the former president from appearing before the bench.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Pervez Musharraf, informed the court that he was threatened to give up the case last night while his driver was tortured in Karachi. He further told that he had provided the caller’s number to IG Sindh, Home Secretary Sindh and IG Islamabad while an FIR had also been registered.
On this, Justice Faisal Arab remarked that the court will not tolerate such acts and will pass orders to provide security to the prosecution and defence lawyers. The court had granted the application and adjourned the hearing to January 16.
Following the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri had spoken to media representatives outside the court and expressed reservations over making the former president’s medical report public. He claimed that an individual’s right of privacy in the Constitution was violated.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, special prosecutor Muhammad Akram Sheikh told the media men that the report does not state that the accused can not attend the hearing.
Earlier, speaking to reporters Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada said that heart problem is the major issue of his client and the report also discusses it.
Pirzada said he himself had also undergone angiography abroad on doctors’ recommendations, adding that the chief prosecutor Akram Sheikh had also got it done from the US and Singapore and also got immunity from appearance in the Supreme Court on medical grounds.
Akram Sheikh, speaking to the media, claimed that the reports are silent on why the former president is unable to appear in the court. He said that Musharraf’s heart arteries are not blocked and his blood pressure is as normal as that of a sportsman.
Another lawyer of Musharraf, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, told reporters that his client needed more bed rest. He called for immunity for Musharraf till his full recovery. He criticized Akram Sheikh for his role and called him Nawaz Sharif’s ‘mouthpiece’