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Pakistan's court rejects Musharraf's objections at high treason trial

English.news.cn   2014-03-07 18:56:42

ISLAMABAD, March 7 (Xinhua) -- A special court in Pakistan, hearing high treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf, on Friday rejected all objections at the court that has now removed all obstacles for smooth trial, lawyers said.

Musharraf's defence council had raised objections against the formation of the special court for his high treason trial for the bias of its judges and procedure of judge's nomination.

The three-member bench, however, dismissed all the applications on the plea that all objections have no valid grounds.

The special court had also ruled last month that it can put Musharraf on trial and had refused to refer the case to a military court under army's act. The former president had challenged jurisdiction of the special court and his defense lawyers had argued that only a military court can try Musharraf under army act.

The court has already personally summoned Musharraf to appear on March 11 to formally indict him, lawyers said.

Prosecution lawyers said on Friday that they would request the court to issue non-bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf if he refused to appear on the next hearing on the excuse of security concerns.

They told reporters that the Islamabad administration deploys nearly 1,100 security personnel on every hearing for security of the special court and there is no justification to seek shifting of the trial to any other venue.

Musharraf's lawyers are demanding shifted the trial after Monday's suicide attack on an Islamabad's court that had killed 11 people including a judge.

Prosecution says the Friday's court verdict has now removed all legal obstacle for Musharraf's trial in the high treason case that would be the first ever trial of a former military chief in Pakistan's nearly 66-year history.

Legal experts say that if found guilty, Musharraf could either face death penalty or life imprisonment under Pakistani laws.

Musharraf had already got bails in three high profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack and gunshots during Musharraf's rule in Rawalpindi.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced in June the opening of the high treason case against the former military president for suspension of the constitution, the decision had evoked mixed reaction as critics were of the view that Pakistan faces several serious challenges and cannot afford such a trial.

Musharraf had taken over in a bloodless coup when he had dismissed the government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999.

Musharraf, who had resigned in 2008 as president and had gone into exile, returned to Pakistan in March this year to run in parliamentary elections. However, a court disqualified him from standing in the May elections.

Musharraf, who previously refused to appear before the court, briefly appeared for the first time last month to avoid a possible arrest.

The court had issued bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf on Jan. 31 after he did not appear on previous hearings despite several orders. His lawyers had earlier claimed that he could not come to the court due to poor health condition.

The government has also rejected his request to remove his name from the list of those who are banned from leaving the country.

Editor: Mengjie
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