Hearing in Musharraf treason case from March 8.
Byline: Terence J Sigamony
ISLAMABAD -- A special court in Islamabad will resume hearing in the high treason case against former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf from March 8.
Registrar of the special court, established under Act XVII of 1976, has written a letter to the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration Chief Commissioner, inspector general of Islamabad police and ICT AIG (special branch) for making security and other arrangements at Federal Shariat Court for the hearing of high treason case on March 8 at 9:30 am.
A three-member special court comprising Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Yahya Afridi, Balochistan High Court judge Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar and Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali of Lahore High Court, on May 19 had heard the case last time and adjourned it for further hearing until July 18, 2017 but it could not be taken up since then.
Prosecution team head Akram Sheikh, on behalf of the Ministry of Interior on May 19, 2017, had stated that Gen (r) Musharraf will be given a complete security that he availed as president of Pakistan (if he returned to the country).
The court had directed Musharraf's counsel to get instruction from his client regarding the offer made by the prosecution team.
During the last hearing , Ministry of Interior's joint secretary had said that despite ministry's repeated requests, Defence Housing Authorities (DHAs), Lahore and Karachi, did not provide the requisite information about Musharraf's properties.
The court had directed the interior ministry to furnish the requisite information regarding the properties (mentioned in a report) at the next date of hearing .
On July 19, 2016, the special court ordered to attach properties of Musharraf . The former army chief's wife, Sehba Musharraf and daughter Ayla Raza and Huma Khaishgi, the deceased sister of Sehba Musharraf , on March 31, 2017, challenged the attachments of their properties and bank accounts in the special court.
Farm House in Chak Shahzad, Islamabad, Plot No.1 DHA Phase-II, Islamabad, Plot No.172, Khayaban-e-Faisal, Phase-VIII, DHA, Karachi and Plot No.301, Beach Street No.1, Phase-VIII, DHA, Karachi and the bank accounts had been attached as per the special court order.
According to prosecution, the trial in terms of law had been concluded and now only the accused's statement under 342 of Pakistan Penal Code had to be recorded or he could submit his written statement.
The prosecution has completed the evidence and the accused has fully participated in the trial. Akram Sheikh says the written statement could be filed by Musharraf in the special law and not in the common law, and it would become part of the record.
He contends that upon completion of the evidence, a date was set for the cross-examination of the accused (Musharraf), but a week before the hearing of the case, he went abroad. 'It should be clear to the world that this trial is not in absentia but Musharraf has fully participated in this case,' he added.