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Court dismisses Musharraf's plea.

Islamabad: A special court set up four months ago to try former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on high treason charges Friday dismissed his pleas challenging the legality of the bench and alleging that two of its judges were biased against him.

The three-judge court ruled that the objections raised by the 70-year old former dictator in applications filed by his legal team do not fulfil the criteria of merit.

The court has summoned Musharraf to appear before it in person on March 11 for indictment on high treason charges over imposition of state of emergency by him in November 2007 while he was president as well as army chief.

After the court started functioning in December, Musharraf did not show up at several hearings despite summons, initially because of security concerns and then due to cardiac ailment.

The former president finally appeared before the judges for the first time in February but was not indicted then as his lawyers pressed for a decision first on their plea for transfer of the case to a military court.

The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who assumed the office in June last year, has initiated the case under Article 6 of Pakistan's constitution according to which treason is punishable with death or life in jail.

The former president is also facing three other cases including alleged involvement in the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.

The third case is over the killing of cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi during an army operation in 2007 against militants inside Islamabad's Red Mosque.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 8, 2014
Words:287
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