Advocate Raza Bashir has been nominated as the new defence counsel by the special court hearing the treason case against former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf.
14 advocates were recommended by the Ministry of Law and Justice to represent the former chief of army staff (COAS) in line with Section 9 of the Criminal Law Special Court Act 1976.
Out of all the recommendations, Justice Tahira Safdar, who was heading the special court’s three-judge bench, decided on Bashir’s name and asked the ministry to issue a notification in this regard within three days.
It is worth mentioning here that Musharraf’s own counsel cannot appear in his absence, therefore, it was necessary for the court to nominate a defence counsel.
Musharraf currently resides in Dubai where he is said to be suffering from a “rare illness”.
On May 30, the former military ruler’s health had suddenly deteriorated and he was shifted to Dubai American Hospital where he was restricted from meeting or talking to anyone.
Earlier, a special court, while accepting Pervez Musharraf’s request to postpone the hearing of high treason case against him, had adjourned the hearing till June 12.
During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Salman Safdar had informed the court that his client was unable to walk and he also could not speak well.
Counsel Salman Safdar had further said that Musharraf had to come to Pakistan but he could not due to illness.
He had said that the former president has been admitted in the hospital for forty times since the last two years. Doctors recommended that travelling for Musharraf is not secure, he had added.
Musharraf was booked in a treason case in December 2013. He was indicted on March 31, 2014, in the case for suspending the Constitution by proclamation of emergency on November 3, 2007. He left for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and has not returned since.