Prosecutor in Musharraf case apprehends danger

Akram Sheikh cites risk to personal safety in application seeking withdrawal from case


Hasnaat Malik August 28, 2018
Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD : Musharraf treason case entails risk to personal safety and security and professional practice besides posing threat to one’s family, Akram Sheikh contended in his application seeking withdrawal as the head of the prosecuting team.

The application was filed on Monday as the special court resumes hearing of the treason case.

“The applicant (Akram Sheikh) had rendered appearance in this case with utmost dedication mindful of implications that it is not only a case of first impression but also entails risk to one’s personal security, professional practice, risk and (posed) threat to the family.” the application stated.

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Stating that the treason case involved a fundamental civilian-military relationship, Sheikh stated that the new federal government “must have an opportunity to decide how they would like to handle this case”.

He also said that since the first hearing of the case on December 24, 2013, he had been appearing diligently in the matter and could not reconcile with the letter of the special law and its “sporadic application in this case”.

“The applicant was disillusioned to see that the new minister for law and justice is the former senior counsel of the accused and another former senior counsel of the accused has been appointed as the attorney-general.”

Sheikh said that after obtaining permission from the Supreme Court, he had tendered resignation during the tenure of the caretaker government on July 30 this year just before he embarked upon a personal visit abroad.

But he did not receive any response while he was in Pakistan.

“In my absence, my office received a letter from the federal government dated August 17, 2018 in which I was apprised that (my) resignation has not been accepted and a decision on resignation is likely to take more time in view of the change of government. Other members of my team (appeared) before this special court on August 20.”

Sheikh said that he had assisted the court in a wholly professional and non-partisan manner with the able guidance and assistance of his team.

The Supreme Court had held Musharraf solely responsible in the case numbered PLD 2016 SC 454 (Abdul Hameed Dogar vs federal government). The SC had also expected to proceed with Musharraf’s trial without any unnecessary delays.

On March 8, 2016, the special court had fixed the case for March 31, 2016 for recording the accused’s testimony under Section 342 CrPC. Meanwhile, Musharraf’s name was ordered to be taken off the Exit Control List (ECL) on March 17, 2016.

Although he had been summoned to personally appear on March 31, 2016, he opted to leave the jurisdiction of the special court without seeking any prior permission from the court where he had submitted undertakings/bonds to appear “as and when required”.

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“Keeping in view the letter and spirit of the order of the Supreme Court dated February 26, 2016 and provisions of the special law, an application was moved to render judgment in the case as the accused had filed a written application in his defence (CrM 26/2014) and there was no provision in the special law for postponing the trial indefinitely,” Akram Sheikh stated in his application.

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