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Pakistan court adjourns Pervez Musharraf’s bail hearing,trial

The 70-year-old former president's trial in the case was also postponed to November 11.

Written by PTI | Islamabad |
November 1, 2013 1:54:07 pm

The hearing of the bail plea filed by Pakistan’s former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf in a case relating to the killing of a Lal Masjid cleric was today adjourned to November 4 by a court here.

The 70-year-old former president’s trial in the case was also postponed to November 11. The police has already declared him “innocent” in the murder of Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed. Islamabad’s additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Wajid Ali heard Musharraf’s bail application.

During the hearing,Tariq Asad,the counsel of the complainant,Haroon Rasheed,and a representative of the Lal Masjid Shuhada Foundation,alleged that the police had destroyed all the evidence and subsequently declared Musharraf “innocent” in the murder of cleric Rasheed.

Asad said he wanted to provide more evidence before the court,adding that a case “as important as this” should not be handled in a roughshod manner. The counsel further requested the court to postpone its decision on the former military ruler’s bail plea so that he may present more evidence before it.

Musharraf’s counsel Ilyas Siddiqui requested the court to decide on the bail plea today and said his client should not suffer on account of the lack of preparation on part of the complainant’s lawyer.

The court subsequently adjourned the hearing of the bail plea to November 4. Moreover,Musharraf’s trial hearing was also postponed to November 11 when the judge said he had not received a notification for the former president’s jail trial.

The judge said the jail trial could not commence until a notification was received in this respect. The trail is to take place at Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad farmhouse which has been turned into a sub-jail due to security reasons.

Musharraf was booked in the murder case of Lal Masjidcleric on September 2 after Haroon,the cleric’s son,approached the Islamabad High Court for registering an FIR against the former dictator for launching the 2007 operation.

During the operation,102 people 10 army men,one Rangers official,three civilians and 88 people inside the mosque were killed. Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup but was forced into exile nine years later after a showdown with the judiciary. He returned to Pakistan this year to contest May elections but was barred from contesting by a flurry of court cases.

He is also embroiled in four other cases: the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto,the murder of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti,the detention of deposed Supreme Court judges and the declaration of emergency in 2007. He has,however,got bail in all cases except the LalMasjid one.

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