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Musharraf trial cannot be postponed indefinitely: prosecutor

31 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: While raising objections to the medical report submitted by the commandant general of Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), the head of the prosecution team in Pervez Musharraf's high treason trial, Advocate Muhammad Akram Sheikh informed the special court on Thursday that the report falls short of the order dated January 16, 2014, as the AFIC Board has not answered questions 1 and 3, while evasively answered question 2.

Akram Sheikh informed the court that on January 16, the court listed two options, the first was to issue a warrant to summon Musharraf who was avoiding appearing before the court and second option was to constitute a specialist board from within the AFIC.

Sheikh went on to submit that since the report of the medical board was incomplete and has been given in "naked disregard of the order of the learned court" as rather than examining the accused afresh in compliance with the order of court, the board submitted the report on the basis of the earlier rejected report of January 7.

Sheikh said that under Section 9 of the Special Court (Amendment) Act 1976, under which the court was established and trial is being proceeded, visualised that an accused person could be ill but the same is not a sufficient reason for postponing the trial indefinitely. Relying to different judgements, including the latest judgement delivered by current chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Tassaduq Jillani, Sheikh submitted that if the board report is not rejected outrightly the member(s) of the board may be summoned and examined so as to know the basis for submitting such a report.

Sheikh asserted that he has the highest respect for AFIC but its members must show the same respect for their own institution. "The doctors comprising the board appear to be swayed by extraneous reasons rather than going by the guidelines provided by European Cardiac Society and American Heart Association which mandate performing angiogram between 2 to 24 hours in the case of Acute Coronary Syndrome with high risk while a maximum of 72 hours in low risk patient," Sheikh said. He said if Musharraf wishes to be treated by a doctor very special to him, that doctor could be invited to perform the procedure in Pakistan.

"If Musharraf needs some specialised unit to be brought here he could speak to the Revenue Division for granting exemption on custom duties," Sheikh said, while urging Musharraf to show some confidence in his own institution besides showing deference and respect to the process of the court.


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