Court defers Musharraf’s indictment in treason case

Islamabad, Feb 18: A special court here that is hearing high treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf Tuesday deferred his indictment and adjourned the hearing till Friday.

Musharraf’s defence lawyers said the special court’s jurisdiction should be decided prior to the former president’s indictment, reported Geo News.

The court will announce its verdict whether Musharraf should be tried in a military court in the next hearing.

The 70-year-old is facing charges of high treason, which can carry the death sentence, for imposing an emergency and subverting the constitution in 2007.

Earlier Tuesday, Musharraf appeared before the three-member panel, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, for the first time to avoid a possible arrest, after the court strictly ordered him to appear.

The former president was brought in high security from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi to the court.

The court issued arrest warrant for Musharraf Jan 31 after he did not appear on previous hearings despite several orders. His lawyers claimed that he could not appear in the court due to illness.

Musharraf has been in a military hospital since Jan 2 after he complained of a heart problem when he was heading to the court in Islamabad.

His lawyers earlier said that the former army chief could be tried only in a military court under the army act.

The former army chief cannot leave the country as his name is included in the list of those who need special permission to go abroad.

Musharraf had got bail in three cases including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. She was killed in Rawalpindi during Musharraf’s rule.