Judges detention case: Two new witnesses record statements

Policemen deployed at Judges Colony say they never saw any judge leave his house during the emergency period.

Our Correspondent June 05, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Two witnesses submitted their replies before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the judges detention case against Gen (retd) Musharraf on Friday saying they did not see any judge leaving his residency during the proclamation of emergency on November 3, 2007 and onwards.

The policemen, Dildar and Hamdullah, recorded their statements before ATC-II Judge Sohail Ikram, saying they were deployed at the Judges Colony and never saw a justice leaving his house.

Legal proceedings have been initiated against the former president for detaining over 60 judges, including then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, after proclamation of a state of emergency in the country.

In his statement, Dildar said he was in-charge of the security and used to brief staffers regarding the arrangements at the colony. From November 3 onwards, he said, he did not see any judge leaving his residence.

Hamdullah, who too was stationed at the colony, said the same.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Special Public Prosecutor Aamir Tabish said their statements implied that judges were detained at their residence.

Musharraf’s counsel, Illyas Siddiqui, however, said the policemen were deployed for security and protection of judges. In response to a question whether they had any instruction to stop a judge’s movement, the witnesses replied that they had no such instructions, informed Siddiqi.

He believed it has yet to be established whether the judges were willingly staying at their residences and who, if any, had restricted their movement.

Meanwhile, the ATC dismissed Tabish’s application requesting the court not to record statement of the witnesses in the absence of the former president. Tabish had maintained that recording statements in the absence of the suspect was illegal under Section 353 (evidence to be taken in presence of accused) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

He said the court had earlier dismissed Musharraf’s application for permanent exemption in the case yet it continues to record statements.

Granting exemption for Friday’s hearing, the court once again directed Siddiqui to submit Musharraf’s medical report on the next hearing.

Further, the court has summoned more witnesses for recording evidence on next date.

Following the hearing,
the case was adjourned till June 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2015.



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