Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s trial on a charge of high treason is likely to be conducted behind closed doors as the special court appears reluctant to allow the media to witness its proceedings.
Pakistani and foreign journalists may not be able to attend the hearings as the registrar of the special court,Abdul Ghani Soomro,has requested the Interior Ministry to keep the trial “in camera” because of security concerns,the Dawn daily quoted its sources as saying on Friday.
Musharraf is being tried for treason for imposing emergency and abrogating the Constitution in November 2007.
The special court formed on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif commenced proceedings against the 70-year-old Musharraf on December 13 and summoned him to appear in person on December 24.
Senior government officials had earlier hinted that the trial would be open to the media to ensure fairness and transparency.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military dictator is facing trial for treason. If convicted,Musharraf could face either life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Musharraf came to power in 1999 by toppling a government led by Nawaz Sharif and ruled till 2008,when he was forced to resign after being threatened with impeachment.
He lived in self-exile for about five years and returned to Pakistan in March but was hauled to court in different cases,including one over the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.