Treason case: Musharraf fails to appear before court citing security threats

Published: December 24, 2013
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Former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

Former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

Former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP Express News screengrab of the explosives found near Musharraf's farmhouse.

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf failed to appear before the court citing security threats, Express News reported Tuesday.

Musharraf was due to appear before the special court today to face treason charges under Article 6 for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.

During the course of the hearing at the National Library in Islamabad, the prosecutor said that the hearing can not go forward if the accused is not present as it is a criminal case. The hearing was adjourned and will resume on January 1.

Musharraf’s advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri argued that the former dictator can not appear before the court until “full-proof” security is provided and someone from the Interior Ministry takes responsibility for his safety.

The former president’s legal team submitted a written request explaining his absence, as per the court’s orders.

Kasuri stated that the constitution of the bench and the prosecutor will be addressed in the hearing in January. Musharraf’s counsel had submitted two requests earlier, challenging the appointment of the three-member bench of the special court and the prosecutor.

Dr Khalid Ranjha, a member of Musharraf’s legal team, said that a prosecutor is totally independent and is someone who is impartial. He added that in this case, the term ‘persecutor’ would be more appropriate.

Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali were on the three-member bench of the special court.

Security threat

A five-kilogramme bomb was recovered from former president Pervez Musharraf’s route to court on Tuesday morning.

Musharraf’s Advocate Anwar Maqsood had stated later that this was the sort of threat preventing Musharraf from appearing before the court.

Security personnel found two pistols, a five-meter detonator wire as well as 16 bullets near his farmhouse when they were clearing his route to the hearing.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) arrived at the scene and diffused the bomb which was found in a briefcase. They also cleared the area.

There were 250 Islamabad police officers and 100 army personnel to provide security at the National Library, shipping containers were also put in place to form a security barrier to the compound.

Background

Musharraf had dismissed the treason charges against him as politically motivated and is expected to appear in person, after legal efforts to have the tribunal ruled invalid failed.

It is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military ruler has been put on trial for treason.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who won a third term in May’s general election, was the man Musharraf ousted in his 1999 coup and the former general’s lawyers say he is using the case to exact revenge.

Since returning from self-imposed exile in March to run in the election, Musharraf has faced a range of serious criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

He stands accused of murder over the death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, killed in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007, as well as charges over the death of a rebel leader, a military raid on Lal Masjid and the detention of judges.

Musharraf was put under house arrest in April over the cases but was granted bail in each, one by one.

There have been persistent rumours that a deal would be struck to let him leave Pakistan before facing the courts to avoid a clash between the army and government.

But no deal has been forthcoming and last week, speaking publicly for the first time since his house arrest began, Musharraf vowed to stay and fight to clear his name.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • pakistani
    Dec 24, 2013 - 11:28AM

    could be drama to make an excuse for his escape from pak

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  • salman
    Dec 24, 2013 - 11:28AM

    Musharaf should be allowed to leave the country on immediate basis else if some thing happens to him than PML-N should be charged with murder just like Musharaf is blamed for BB’s murder.

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  • Wilson
    Dec 24, 2013 - 11:35AM

    ET@ you have no rights to call Mr.Musharraf a dictator until it’s proven, please take your words backRecommend

  • NDC
    Dec 24, 2013 - 11:47AM

    ET shame on you for calling Musharraf a dictator. You are clearly sided with the rulers be it PPP or PMLN.Recommend

  • Tariq
    Dec 24, 2013 - 12:13PM

    Musharraf era was much better than PPP & PML-N civil dictatorship regimes.

    TM

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  • AK47
    Dec 24, 2013 - 12:15PM

    @Wilson:
    E.T doesn’t even know the meaning of word Dictator. No body talks about Civil and political dictatorship. All majors political parties are ruled by dictators who discourage democracy in their respective parties.

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  • AR
    Dec 24, 2013 - 12:58PM

    @Wilson and NDC: (Source Wikipedia): Dictatorships are often characterized by some of the following traits: suspension of elections and of civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents without abiding by rule of law procedures.

    Recommend

  • Tabernacle
    Dec 24, 2013 - 1:02PM

    ‘Full-proof’ or ‘foolproof’?

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  • 1947
    Dec 24, 2013 - 2:53PM

    With such “security threats” how long he will survive or will rule Pakistan in future?

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  • Khan
    Dec 24, 2013 - 3:00PM

    So the General returned to Pakistan to face cases against him yet is too scared to go to Courts?

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  • Dec 24, 2013 - 3:01PM

    He doesnt have to appear in person. Stop making it an issue/

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  • terrible
    Dec 24, 2013 - 3:18PM

    @ET.

    Biting the hand that feeds the mouth. It was musharraf who opened free media.. he was an Honorable president of Pakistan. The best we had. Learn to respect him.

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  • Kay
    Dec 24, 2013 - 3:51PM

    @ AR: This definition would be applicable in Western Democratic countries not for Pakistan.

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  • Syed
    Dec 24, 2013 - 3:53PM

    What a classical drama?
    The real traitors, who looted plundered Pakistan and people of Pakistan, and have purchased Castles in England, France, Dubai and Bilawal House, are sitting comfortably.
    The ones who invested the looted money abroad and set up industries in India with kick backs, hijacked plan, are calling Musharraf a “Ghaddar” and trying him in court.
    The one who coaxed the people through public media/ newspapers to frame cases against Musharraf is the Initiator Chief Justice.
    The judges who, debarred Musharraf from participating in elections for life against their own so called “Constitution”, are claiming to do justice to Musharraf.
    HA HA HA —– HE HE
    Musharraf must be punished for not looting, plundering, making Swiss Bank Accounts, setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia and India.

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  • Syed
    Dec 24, 2013 - 3:58PM

    What a classical drama?
    The real saviors of the country, who looted plundered Pakistan and people of Pakistan, and have purchased Castles in England, France, Dubai and Bilawal House, are sitting comfortably.
    The ones who invested the looted money abroad and set up industries in India with kick backs, hijacked plan, must call Musharraf a “Ghaddar” and try him in court.
    The one who coaxed the people through public media/ newspapers to frame cases against Musharraf was the Examplary Chief Justice.
    The judges who, debarred Musharraf from participating in elections for life against their own so called “Constitution”, are claiming to do justice to Musharraf.
    HA HA HA —– HE HE
    Musharraf must be punished for not looting, plundering, making Swiss Bank Accounts, setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia and India.

    Recommend

  • Munir
    Dec 24, 2013 - 4:50PM

    @AR

    This definition perfectly implies to present looters and money launderers.Recommend

  • AK47
    Dec 24, 2013 - 5:06PM

    Martial law is far better then Pakistani democracy.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Dec 24, 2013 - 5:52PM

    The commando looks very scared. I thought this ‘victorious commando’ could dismantle bombs with bare hands.

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  • SBK-42
    Dec 24, 2013 - 6:04PM

    If Musharraf’s farmhouse can be called as a “deemed prison”, why can’t it be also called “deemed courtroom” & the case be heard there. This was done in Mumbai while hearing the Mumbai Blast case where the hearings were conducted in Arthur Road jail for security reasons!
    Musharraf shouldn’t be allowed any excuses to dodge the smooth process of law!

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  • Dec 24, 2013 - 6:11PM

    An interesting Paki soap opera !

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  • Arsalan Shah
    Dec 24, 2013 - 6:19PM

    A commando is afraid of death? Why doesn’t he travel in a heli? I am sure that will be cheaper than cleaning routes and deploying hundreds of security personnel.
    Anyways, courts should move to his farm house. Have a lavish meal, play golf and eventually set him free due to no witnesses.

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 24, 2013 - 7:00PM

    @Wilson:

    Have you a different name for the accusd who took over the power in the country by a military coup?

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Dec 24, 2013 - 7:08PM

    @Syed:
    just calm your nerves down: one by one in turn! It is the military first to smoke out other collaborators in the military! 2014 is the year reserved for the Pakistan military brass!

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Breaking Bad
    Dec 24, 2013 - 8:06PM

    Bomb in a briefcase? What happened to NCC training of camouflage and concealment LOL.

    Recommend

  • Waseem
    Dec 24, 2013 - 9:15PM

    fake cases, fake courts, revenge taking political agenda planned by Nawaz. If anything happens to our leader, you will pay the price you never imagined in your life.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Dec 25, 2013 - 12:03AM

    Well the ‘commando’ was not scared to send 800 plus Pakistanis to death in Kargil and then disown them. Why is he so scared to go to the court now ?

    Recommend

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