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Musharraf to return on 1st May to appear in special court hearing, says counsel

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf will return Pakistan on 1st May and was determined to appear in the special court hearing on May 02, the counsel of the former military ruler told ARY News on Saturday.

Counsel Suleman Safdar in an exclusive talk with ARY News quoting Musharraf’s family, said that the former president insisting to return Pakistan but in view of his health condition, the permission from his doctor is essential.

The family said that Musharraf will return to Pakistan on May 1st and was determined to appear before the special court in the case hearing against him on May 02.

A special court, hearing a treason case against the former army chief, had ordered Musharraf to appear before it on May 2.

The Supreme Court had also ordered the former president to appear before the special court on May 2, otherwise he would lose the right of defence in the case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa while hearing a petition filed by a lawyer, who pointed out that the proceedings of the treason case — being heard by a special court since 2014 — had come to a halt as former president Musharraf had not returned to the country since 2016.

The apex court also said that if Musharraf does not appear before the special court on May 2, he would lose his right to record a statement under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPC).

The court further said that if Musharraf does not appear before the special court on May 2, the court should give its decision based off of the prosecution’s arguments.

Article 342 gives an accused an opportunity to defend him, if the accused doesn’t want to avail this chance then he get himself deprived of this right, the court said. In that case he could not have right to present his witnesses in the case. In this situation, the trial court should hear the prosecution arguments and announce its verdict on the case.

The contempt petition was filed by Taufeeq Asif, the ex-president of Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench’s bar association.

Musharraf was indicted in a case for suspending the Constitution by proclamation of emergency on Nov 3, 2007. He left for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and hasn’t returned since.

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