Arrest warrants issued against Musharraf

Bench, headed by Justice Mazhar Alam rejects Musharraf’s plea of exemption from personal appearance before the court

Hasnaat Malik April 20, 2016
Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: A three-judge bench of the Special Court issued non-bailable arrest warrant on Tuesday against former President Pervez Musharraf regarding his appearance to record statement under Section 342 of CrPC in the treason case.

The bench, headed by Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, rejected Musharraf’s plea to exempt him from personal appearance before the court.

In its nine-page-long order, the court ruled over various applications in the case, stating: “Since the accused (Musharraf) has failed to appear before the court despite repeated notices, non-bailable warrant of arrest be issued against him executable through the Director-General of FIA for the next date of hearing (May 11), who shall ensure the execution of the same and in case of non-execution of the warrant, the executing officer should appear before the court along with his proof of search for the accused, on the next date fixed (May11).”

Chief Justice Miankhel expressed concern and said that when prosecution and the defence counsels were aware of this court’s order that the Musharraf had been summoned by the court under Section 342 CrPc, how could he leave the country. The judge asked that in the given situation, who should be held responsible.

The court at this stage avoided giving a ruling about recording Musharraf’s statement via Skype or video-link. “We will see into this matter later,” Justice Mazhar said.

Ordering forfeiture of Major General (retd) Rashid Qureshi’s surety amounting to Rs2.5 million, the court directed to submit the amount within 15 days to the Registrar of the Special Court. The order stated that Musharraf was not in attendance on Tuesday (today) and Qureshi could not produce him, therefore, the surety bond furnished by him “is hereby forfeited in favour of the state”.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2016.

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