Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer today argued in a special court conducting his treason trial that the embattled former Pakistani military ruler’s case should be heard by a military court. Musharraf’s lawyer Khalid Ranjha told the special court that the trial should be continued in a military court. A person like Musharraf who falls under the jurisdiction of the Army Act cannot be tried by any other court, he argued.
Sections related to high treason are included in the Army Act of 1952, and under Article 245 of the constitution. The Army Act applies to civilians living in areas where the army has been summoned to help the civilian administration, he said.
The special court was formed by the government last year to try 70-year-old Musharraf on charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007. Ranjha argued that the special court cannot conduct the trial of a serving or retired military personnel. It is mandatory under the law that military personnel face court-martial under the Army Act if they commit any offence, he said.
However, the prosecution challenged the contention of the defence lawyers, saying Musharraf cannot be tried under the Army Act as it has no provision for treason. Musharraf, admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi on January 2 after developing heart problems, has skipped all hearings of the special court.
After hearing the arguments of lawyers from both sides, the court adjourned the case till tomorrow. Musharraf has been summoned by the special court on February 18.