ISLAMABAD: A three-judge Special Court led by Justice Faisal Arab declined a request by the defence counsel to adjourn or shift the hearing of the high treason trial against Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf from Islamabad to Karachi.
Citing political wrangling in the country, particularly in the capital city during these days, leading defence counsel Farogh Nasim requested the court on Tuesday to either adjourn the case for the duration of these days, or move the hearings from Islamabad to Karachi for smoother proceedings.
The court, however, did not pay any heed to the request, and simply adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
Musharraf is currently living in Karachi, and the special court had exempted him from personal appearances.
He had appeared twice before the court, and after indictment the court had accepted his request to relieve him. Musharraf did however assure the court he would appear before it whenever it would be required in the future.
Musharraf had also requested the apex court to get his name dropped from the Exit Control List (ECL), but the court had declined his request for ‘justice hurried’ against the government’s move to put his name on the ECL.
FIA members summoned for cross-examination
The court also summoned Maqsoodul Hassan - one of the three investigators of the three-member Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team - for cross-examination.
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh also extended his favour to summon the head of the inquiry team, Khalid Qureshi.
But when Nasim asked for the same, Sheikh retracted his stance and said to first summon a member of the team. He also said there is no relevancy to summoning another member of the team, Hussain Asghar, for cross-examination, saying that he has no direct relevancy with documentary evidence.
Nasim said that the defence team had reserved the right to request for summoning any witness.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Nasim further asked the court to order a transcript on Pakistan Television’s DVD, which contains Musharraf’s speech regarding the promulgation of emergency rule on November 3, 2007. He quoted the late prominent US journalist Daniel Pearl - who was assassinated in Pakistan back in 2002 - as a precedent in which the Sindh High Court (SHC) decided the procedure to obtain such transcripts.
Sheikh backed Nasim’s stance, and said that he would also file an application to obtain the testified copies of the record. The court asked them to file their respective applications to the registrar of the court. Nasim alleged that the DVD had been obtained from an official of PTV, which was not authorised to record the speech.
FIA official says he was acting on his senior's directions
During the cross-examination of FIA additional director Khalid Rasool on Tuesday, the official said he had only acted upon the directions of the head of the investigation team.
Nasim also held that in many places, the FIA official did not write him as an investigation officer, and suggested that Rasool's exercise was unauthorised.