A two-member bench of the special court on Tuesday turned down the request of defence counsel to grant him an opportunity to meet his client, former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, for further preparation in the treason case.
During the hearing, defence counsel Raza Bashir requested the court to direct the relevant ministry for making arrangements for his meeting with the former president before recording his statement under Article 342 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
The bench comprising Justice Shahid Kareem and Justice Nazar Akbar replied that the time for recording the statement had already passed. The court told him that he was appointed to provide assistance to the court.
“Why did you submit this petition when we gave you one month for preparation?” the bench asked him.
The court asked him to start his final arguments in the case, saying if he does not do so, the bench will write it in its order.
The court adjourned the hearing till October 8, saying there would not be any more adjournments.
On August 22, Advocate Raza Bashir was nominated as the new defence counsel by the special court hearing the treason case against the former military ruler.
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, had decided on Bashir’s name and had asked the ministry to issue a notification in this regard within three days.
It is worth mentioning here that Musharraf’s own counsel could not 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.