'Musharraf has to appear before court under any circumstances': Pak Court

| Updated: May 19, 2017 23:27 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 19 (ANI): A special court in Pakistan hearing the high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf, has ordered him to appear before the court under any circumstances. A three-member bench of a special court, headed by Justice Yahya Afridi, continued its hearing in the case on Friday. A representative of the Interior Ministry during the court proceedings confirmed that the government was ready to provide Musharraf foolproof security upon his return. "Musharraf has to appear before the court under any circumstance [now]," the Dawn quoted Justice Afridi as saying. The ministry also submitted details regarding Musharraf's property holdings to the court. The report by the Interior Ministry said details regarding his properties in Lahore, Karachi and Gwadar have not yet been furnished. The court expressed its displeasure over the incomplete report and ordered the ministry to furnish full details regarding the accused's properties. Musharraf's counsel Akhtar Shah said that his client had no residence in Pakistan as all his properties had been forfeited. He further said that the Musharaff was not returning back to country due to security threats. Shah pleaded to the court to adjourn the hearing to a later date citing the above reason. However, the Public Prosecutor Akram Sheikh insisted that the trial had been completed and the must announce a verdict now. "Pervez Musharraf should surrender in court and we will provide security to him," he said. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for July 18. The Pakistan Government had earlier asked a special court to proceed with the high treason case against on an early basis. The treason case was initiated against Musharraf for abrogating the Constitution on November 3, 2007. The prosecution team headed by Akram Sheikh submitted an application in pursuance of special court's orders dated March 31 in which it had directed the prosecution to submit written synopsis regarding the completion of the trial. "Under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Amendment [Special Court] Act, 1976, this Honourable Court [Special Court] is required to proceed with the trial and not grant any adjournment for any purpose unless it is of opinion that the adjournment is necessary in the interest of justice," The Express Tribune quoted the prosecution team as saying while submitting a written synopsis on the trial. The application said that Musharraf had been seeking adjournments so as to delay the course of justice in the case and also went abroad for his medical checkup despite the court's directions to appear before the SC. "It is evident from both the record and behavior of the accused (Musharraf) that the accused is not ill and that furthermore his absence has been brought about by himself to impede the course of justice," the statement read. The prosecution team also pointed that Musharraf has subsequently stopped appearing in the court. The special court had last year on March 8 issued notice to Musharraf to appear in person for examination but he travelled abroad purportedly for medical reasons without taking permission from the court. Musharraf had earlier filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) before the special court, requesting the court to allow him to travel aboard and had also assured that he would be back whenever his presence was required by the court. (ANI)

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