Pakistan court sends Musharraf on judicial remand

Updated: 2013-04-20 17:55


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ISLAMABAD - An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Saturday ordered that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should be sent on judicial remand in a case of illegally placing top judges under house arrest when he had imposed emergency rule in 2007, court officials said.

Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi ordered that the former President should reappear in court on May 4 after he completes his judicial remand.

The judge did not accept request by Musharraf's lawyer, Qamar Afzal that his client should be ordered a physical remand and handed over to the police for questioning as he had surrendered voluntarily to the police and he will cooperate with the investigators.

Mushararf's house in Islamabad has already been declared as sub-jail in view of security threats if he is sent to the prison.

Legal experts said that Musharraf can file bail applications in those courts which are hearing cases against him.

Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqi, a former Supreme Court judge, said they could file appeal in the Supreme Court where Musharraf faces cases.

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday ordered Musharraf's arrest for his role in keeping judges in illegal confinement when he had imposed emergency rule in 2007.

Musharraf has denied all charges and said that he had not issued any arrest orders for judges and that all judges had been sitting in houses on their own choices.

The former President surrendered to police on Friday and also appeared before a judicial magistrate, who had granted him a two-day transit remand with instructions that Musharraf should appear in the anti-terrorism court where cases have been registered against him.

Musharraf, wearing a bullet-proof jacket, was brought to the court under tight security where lawyers chanted slogans against him. A group of Musharraf's supporters also raised slogans in his favour.

Musharraf's spokesman, Dr. Amjad, said that appeals for relief will be filed in superior courts against his arrest and terrorism charges.

Amjad told reporters that some lawyers raised slogans against Musharraf inside the court room and also used abusive language for him. He said Musharraf has decided to appear in every court if he is summoned and will defend himself against the charges, which he described as baseless.

A former Law Minister, Khalid Ranjha, was of the opinion that Musharraf has surrendered to the police and now it is the test of the judges to ensure fair trial. He said any grudge of the judiciary will put a question mark on the credibility of the judiciary.

Shortly after the Saturday's court appearance, Musharraf was shifted to the police headquarters in Islamabad to record his statement with the police.

Musharraf's lawyers said that the former President has denied all charges against him.

Taliban militants said last month that they have formed a special squad for attack on Musharraf. They had also released a video, showing a Taliban leader to import training to the militants.

Musharraf is also facing other legal cases, including treason charges for imposing emergency rule, the 2007 assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto and the killing of a Baloch leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, denied all charges and said he will defend himself in courts. He had resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the parliament and then went into exile.

He returned to Pakistan last month after over four years of self-imposed exile in Britain and the UAE to take part in the May 11 parliamentary elections for his All Pakistan Muslim League party.