‘Special court can announce verdict in Musharraf treason case’

Ex-head of prosecution says his team concluded its argument before being sacked


Hasnaat Maik October 25, 2019
Ex-head of prosecution says his team concluded its argument before being sacked. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The former head of the prosecution team in the former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s high treason trial said on Friday that the special court had absolute power to announce its verdict in the case.

“As the prosecution has already concluded its argument, the court can announce its judgement,” said Akram Sheikh.

He said that despite sacking the prosecution team in the high treason case, the special court had not been deduced from its authority to pronounce its judgement.

He added that the prosecution had concluded its case on September 18, 2014 and also submitted its written arguments on an earlier date.
“The case was fixed for Thursday [October 24] only for a ceremonial hearing of oral submissions, if any.”

Sheikh said the Special Court Amendment Act did not provide any formality to seek an explanation from the interior secretary after the conclusion of prosecution’s case.

Govt sacks prosecution team in Musharraf treason case

“Therefore it [the special court] is under no obligation to adjourn the case till November 19.”

The lawyer said October 24 was sad day in the constitutional and judicial history of Pakistan when a completed trial of high treason despite repeated assurances by the highest judicial and executive echelons could not see its meritorious conclusion and had to be technically knocked out by withdrawing the prosecution team.

“It is equally sad to know that the special court since the commencement of this case did not in letter and spirit abide by a law called the Special Court Amendment Act 1976 and has been indulging for adjournment of the case for six-month to nine-month intervals at times,” he added.

Sheikh regretted that the court had allowed Musharraf to go abroad in 2015 on medical grounds but three weeks later, he was seen dancing in Massachusetts, US.

“The rule of law, the equal protection of law and the separation of power are the cornerstones of our democratic polity without which neither democracy nor the country could envision a greater and a brighter future.”

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