–Orders Islamabad admin, law enforcement agencies to arrange foolproof security arrangements for ex-military dictator
–Barrister Farogh Naseem excuses himself from Musharraf’s legal representation
ISLAMABAD: A special court on Thursday hearing the high treason case against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf ordered the government to arrest him and seize his property.
The hearing resumed on Thursday after a gap of nine months.
A three-member bench led by Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahyah Afridi conducted the hearing on the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in the country in 2007.
The chief commissioner, inspector general and Additional IG of Police Islamabad were directed to arrange “foolproof security arrangements” for the former military dictator.
As the hearing went underway, the Interior Ministry submitted a report on Musharraf’s properties, stating that four out of seven properties are owned by the former president and army chief.
The special court hearing the high treason case also sought mutual legal assistance agreement with UAE in the matter of arrest of the former president from Dubai.
Moreover, senior lawyer Farogh Naseem excused himself from Musharraf’s legal representation, after which Faisal Chaudhry appeared to represent the former president.
THE TREASON CASE:
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh, presenting arguments, pressed the court to order Musharraf’s arrest and production in court. The court then summoned officials of the Foreign Ministry in 30 minutes.
Justice Yahya Afridi inquired what steps were taken to arrest Pervez Musharraf, adding that 10 months had elapsed but details of his foreign properties had not been received. He asked what was preventing the authorities from the initiation of action in respect of former dictator’s properties outside the country.
“Why Interpol has not been contacted after issuance of his warrants? What steps were taken by government and interior ministry to bring back the accused to Pakistan? And what should be done to ensure the presence of the accused in the court?” the judge asked.
Akram Sheikh said that ample time had been given to the accused, therefore, the decision should come now. The court can issue arrest warrants of Pervez Musharraf, he said, suggesting that the court can also cancel Musharraf’s identity card and passport.
The special court summoned foreign office and FIA authorities on next hearing, besides seeking mutual legal assistance agreement reached with UAE.
In April 2014, the special court formally charged Musharraf for imposing emergency rule in the country in 2007. The former president appeared before the three-judge bench, rejecting all charges against him.
According to the prosecution, March 31, 2014, marked the ‘first day’ of Musharraf’s trial as he was finally indicted.
On March 18, 2016, Musharraf flew to Dubai for medical treatment as soon as his name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) according to an order by the Supreme Court.
On May 11, 2016, the PHC declared former president Musharraf as the proclaimed offender (PO) in the high treason case.
In May 2017, Musharraf had expressed his willingness to face the trial under the army’s protection and on a surety from the court that he would be given a safe passage to return to Dubai.