ISLAMABAD: Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar on Friday ruled out the probability of a special court announcing its verdict in the high treason case against his client on Dec 17.
The three-judge special court, which has been hearing the case since December 2013, had earlier on Thursday directed the newly appointed prosecution team to conclude its arguments at the next hearing scheduled for Dec 17.
In a media talk, Barrister Safdar said that it is unlikely of the court to announce its verdict in the case on the said date. He maintained that his client is not a fugitive but unwell and undergoing treatment abroad.
He went on to claim that the former president won’t be handed any punishment in the case.
Earlier on Dec 6, the special court had put off hearing of the high treason case on a request by the newly-appointed prosecution team that sought time to peruse a lengthy case file and prepare its legal arguments.
Adjourning the hearing until Dec 17 for “the last time”, the court warned it would pronounce its reserved verdict in the case on the absence of any counsel in the next hearing.
“This is not the first adjournment as the case has previously been put off for dozens of times,” it said.
Ali Zia Bajwa, who has been named as a new prosecutor to lead the prosecution team in the case, said he got to know about his appointment on Wednesday evening. He added he received relevant documents vis-à-vis the case last night and needed some time to go through them.
At this, the court said two days are enough to read these documents.
The prosecutor maintained the documents comprise over a thousand pages. Besides, he added he is unaware of whatever transpired in the presence of the previous prosecutor. He assured the judges that he would try not to waste the count’s time.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.
He was booked in the case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.
In September this year, a special court bench had decided to conduct the trial on a daily basis from October 8 to conclude the case.