Court orders Pervez Musharraf to appear Jan 16

Islamabad, Jan 9 : A special court in Pakistan Thursday heard the high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf for abrogation of the constitution and ordered him to appear Jan 16 after reviewing his medical report.

The court said Musharraf's medical report did not mention that he had a heart attack. It also did not say that he was not in a position to appear before the court, the Dawn reported.

The former president has been granted exemption from appearing in the court thrice earlier and his counsel did not submit an application for his "no-show" Thursday, the court observed.

Earlier, the three-member special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, reserved its decision until 2 p.m. on Musharraf's medical report.

Special Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said the former president was not bed-ridden and met his lawyers Wednesday, while he was being shifted from the intensive care unit to the general ward.

The prosecutor requested that Musharraf's medical report should be disregarded and he should be summoned to the court.

Musharraf's counsel Ilyas Siddiqui presented the former army chief's medical report in the court along with a list of people who had undertaken medical treatment abroad on public expenditure.

Ahmed Reza Kasuri, Musahrraf's defence counsel, claimed his client was unwell and cannot appear before the court. He said the hospital has not discharged the former president and advised him more rest.

The special court warned Jan 1 that it could issue an arrest warrant for the former military chief if he failed to appear before it again Jan 2, after Musharraf did not turn up for hearing the second time.

The Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology where Musharraf is being treated submitted his medical report, listing nine diseases including heart problem, he was suffering from.

Musharraf has been charged with abrogating, subverting, suspending, holding in abeyance and attempting to conspire against the 1973 Constitution by declaring Emergency and detaining judges of the superior courts.

The government announced Nov 17 its decision to formally prosecute the former army chief for high treason.

--IANS (Posted on 09-01-2014)

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