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Court rejects Musharraf's plea for military trial; summoned on 11th

22 February, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The special court, constituted for trial of Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the high treason act, on Friday summoned the former president on March 11, and rejected his counsel's appeal to shift the case to military court.

The court also rejected the plea regarding jurisdiction of the special court, saying that it had complete authority to try Musharraf for high treason.

The three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, resumed hearing of the case and remarked that only the special court was entitled to hear the treason case, on the grounds that Musharraf retired in 2007 and he is not part of the army now so the case could not be proceeded under the Army Act. The court also observed that the Army Act of 1977 was declared null and void in 1981 by the courts; therefore, under the law only the special court is subjected to hear the case of high treason against Mushrraf under Article 6 of the constitution.

Musharraf's counsels concluded their arguments and stated that the special court was established against law and it was established without formal approval of the federal cabinet. They also termed special court judges biased and partial.

In his three applications, Musharraf had challenged the authority of special court to hear the treason case against him, the appointment of judges for the trial and nomination of prosecutor general.

The court would announce its verdict over another petition relating to the issue of biased judges on March 4. The court has ordered Musharraf to appear on March 11, and he is likely to be indicted the same day.

On February 18, Musharraf appeared before the trial bench and was not indicted on the request of his legal team, pleading that the jurisdiction of court to hear the high treason case should be decided first and case be referred to military court.

The court in its order ruled that it would first decide the application challenging the jurisdiction of this court before further proceedings.

The counsel of Pervez Musharraf, Ahmad Raza Kasuri, said that the verdict of the special court is "wrong and devoid of facts", adding that it was former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and not Musharraf who had abrogated the constitution.

End.

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