ISLAMABAD (TIP): Former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial was on January 29 adjourned for a day after his lawyers sought time to go through prosecution’s objections to his medical report.
Musharraf’s counsel Anwar Mansoor said he is yet to go through the objections raised by prosecutor Akram Sheikh against the 70-year-old’s medical report issued by the Armed Forces Institute the of Cardiology (AFIC) and prepare himself for arguments. Mansoor also sought time from the special court conducting the trial as Musharraf’s legal team was busy at the Supreme Court with the hearing of a review petition filed by the former President against the apex court’s verdict relating to the emergency imposed in November 2007.
He said that it was imperative for the legal team to appear in the Supreme Court on Wednesday and sought adjournment of the hearing in the treason trial until the apex court issued its verdict over the review petition. Justice Faisal Arab, heading the threemember bench, said court proceedings could not be halted until the apex court issued a stay order over the matter. Arab said that the defence team would also have to submit a request for the exemption of Musharraf’s appearance in the special court.
He said adjournment and exemption from hearing were two separate matters. Chief prosecutor Sheikh told the court that the objections over Musharraf’s medical report had been timely submitted in writing and that a copy of the objections was given to the defence team. The court then issued a notice to the defence counsel over the prosecuting team’s request to summon Maj Gen Syed Imran Majeed, commandant of the AFIC, for cross-examination. In a plea submitted on Tuesday, the prosecution had sought crossexamination of the head of the AFIC, where Musharraf has been admitted since January 2.
Shiekh reiterated his objections to the medical report, which he said should be disregarded outrightly as it was evasive and contrary to the established practice in the field of cardiology. “But if the court wishes to give any weight to this report, the prosecution requests for summoning at least the president of the medical board, Major General Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, to cross examine him for the limited purpose of his findings…to evaluate his report,” Sheikh argued. Musharraf faces treason charges for abrogating the Constitution and imposing an emergency in 2007. There has been widespread speculation that his ill-health would be used to allow him to leave Pakistan for treatment.