Court told Musharraf was never admitted to a hospital nor did he even have to take an aspirin since fleeing the country; Case adjourned until Musharraf’s arrest or surrender
The Special Court on Tuesday ordered to seize the bank accounts and assets of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf and adjourned hearing of the case until his arrest or surrender.
A three-member Special Court bench headed by Justice Mian Mazhar Alam heard the high treason case against the former president and army chief for imposing emergency on November 3, 2007.
The Interior Ministry filed a report regarding details of Musharraf’s assets which was compiled on the basis of the information gathered through the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). However, it was reported that the ECP does not have details of his assets.
The report shows that the former president owns 170 Tola gold among other properties.
Prosecution’s counsel, Akram Sheikh, said that the court could punish Musharraf as a proclaimed offender and seize his assets.
The Supreme Court had ordered to hold the trial on daily basis but the ex-president left the country on the third day after the SC’s order.
Justice Alam remarked that the court has declared Musharraf a proclaimed offender and now it is time to seize his assets. It is also a matter of his absence now, he said and asked the prosecutor if he wanted the court to continue the trial in Musharraf’s absence.
The prosecution suggested seizing his assets and punishing him for being a proclaimed offender.
The side further argued that Musharraf was neither admitted to a hospital after fleeing the country nor did he even take an aspirin pill. The court was suggested to record Musharraf’s statement through Skype.
Justice Yaro Ali said that the interior secretary is the party in the case and he permitted the former president to leave the country. Sheikh said sabotaging the constitution was an even bigger crime than terrorism.
However, Justice Alam said that the court understands its responsibilities in the light of the law.
The alleged criminal’s surety bonds have been seized, he said. Justice Yaro said that under Article 189, every institution of the country is bound to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court but it does not apply on the Special Court.
Justice Alam intervened again saying that the trial could not proceed in the absence of the defense and it would not be appropriate to record his statement on Skype.
On the other hand, Counsels for the defense, Ahmad Raza Kasuri and Faisal Chaudhry alleged that the Interior Ministry misled the court about their client’s assets. They said that the properties and bank accounts were joint assets of General (r) Musharraf, his wife and son.
The defense would file an objection against the seizure of Musharraf’s accounts and assets to which Justice Alam replied that a written plea would be appropriate.