Embattled former Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s legal team, on Friday, filed a petition seeking exemption for his personal appearance before the special court conducting his treason trial.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court, had summoned 70-year-old Musharraf on Friday for him to be indicted.
However, Musharraf’s counsel, Anwar Mansoor, submitted an application in the court requesting for the his exemption from today’s hearing. He said the background checks need to be conducted on the security personnel deployed for Musharraf’s security and this would take at least 10-12 weeks.
Justice Arab said that the lawyer should inform the court in 30 minutes if Musharraf will appear or not. The judge noted that in case he does not appear, charges will be read out to the lawyer.
Ahmad Raza Kasuri, another lawyer of Musharraf, said that an accused cannot be indicted in absentia. Meanwhile, a team of police reached the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology to take the former President to the court.With authorities promising fool-proof security, Justice Arab had yesterday said the order to produce the former President in court on March 14 remained intact.
Musharraf had on Tuesday failed to turn up for his indictment in the court citing security reasons and was summoned today. This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military ruler is facing high treason trial. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) briefed the special court judges on the security alert issued relating to Musharraf.
The ISI representatives told the judges that the latest alert was issued after a call had been traced in relation to a possible attack being planned against him.
The men, who briefed the judges after the hearing was adjourned on Thursday, said the threat to Musharraf’s life was real.