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Bugti murder: SC rejects Musharraf's appeal to transfer case

08 October, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has rejected former army chief Pervez Musharraf's plea to transfer the murder case of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti from Quetta to Islamabad.

Musharraf had cited security fears while making a request for the case's transfer. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, has maintained the Balochistan High Court's August 24 order, which rejected Musharraf's plea for his trial over the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti to be transferred from Quetta to Rawalpindi. Akbar Bugti was killed on August 26, 2006 during a military crackdown ordered by Musharraf who was president and army chief at the time. Now he is facing murder charges in this high profile case being heard by an anti-terrorism court in Quetta.

The Balochistan High Court had on August 24 dismissed a petition by the former military dictator for the transfer of his trial over the death of Bugti due to security fears. During the hearing, the prosecutor general of Balochistan withdrew the request made by the provincial government to transfer the case and assured the BHC every possible security to Musharraf. He told the high court that the caretaker provincial government had submitted the request to transfer the case to Islamabad for security reasons, but the incumbent government had decided to withdraw it.

The counsel for Pervez Musharraf, Barrister Ilyas Siddiqui, told the bench that his client faces serious security threats as several attempts had been made on his life and he had been receiving death threats. However, Sohail Ahmed Rajput, the lawyer of Nawabzada Akbar Bugti, argued that the petition filed by the accused to move the case to Islamabad had no legal status, adding a high court could transfer a case within that province. After hearing the arguments of both the parties, the chief justice dismissed the petition.

In his short judgement, he observed that providing protection to the accused was the responsibility of the government. Earlier, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court allowed the provincial government to withdraw a similar petition. The interim provincial government had filed a request in the court for the case to be transferred for security reasons.

End.

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