–LHC CJ Yawar Ali to head bench comprising SHC justice Nazar Akbar and BHC Justice Tahira Safdar
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday formed a new bench of the special court hearing the high treason case against former military dictator, General (r) Pervez Musharraf.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali will head the special court bench also comprising Sindh High Court (SHC) Justice Nazar Akbar and Balochistan High Court Justice Tahira Safdar.
The nomination was given in cue with the federal government’s request, and comes after Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi recused himself from the case.
The treason case is pending since November 2013. Musharraf’s counsel had earlier raised objections over Justice Yahya heading the bench arguing that the judge was part of the lawyers’ movement.
The bench had earlier maintained its March 8 order to suspend Musharraf’s CNIC and passport. Despite security reassurances from the interior minister, Musharraf has declined to come back to the country.
Legal analysts have labelled the security concerns laid by Musharraf’s lawyer as mere excuses to not to return to the country and will never return to the country.
The court had also directed the Interior Ministry to approach Interpol for the arrest of the former president.
In 2013, the former military ruler was nominated as the sole accused in the high treason case, while in 2014, he was indicted by the special court comprising judges from three different high courts.
Meanwhile, the prosecution has presented all its evidence and produced its witnesses before the court. The last witness testified before the court on September 18, 2014.
Last year, the Islamabad High Court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to re-investigate the case to ascertain role of facilitators in the imposition of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.
Musharraf, who is facing multiple charges, including treason and assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, arrived in Dubai on March 18 for what his lawyers said was urgent medical treatment after a three-year travel ban was lifted.