Musharraf taken into custody

Musharraf taken into custody

ISLAMABAD: The high drama around former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf in the judges’ detention case continued on Friday as a judicial magistrate handed the former president over to police custody on transit remand for two-days besides directing police to produce the accused before Anti Terrorism Court on or before April 21.

The Islamabad police ‘informally’ produced the accused before the court of judicial magistrate and sought 14 days judicial remand. However, the judge rejected police’s plea and handed the custody of retired general to police for two days.Wearing what appeared to be a bombproof vest, the former military chief came to the court of Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Abbas Shah on Friday morning.Contrary to rules, police did not shackle the former president. Instead, he was escorted by his security team comprising of Rangers and intelligence personnel.

During the course of hearing, police and investigators while pointing towards Musharraf told the court that interrogation of the ‘arrested’ accused was required in connection with case registered in 2009, in which he was booked for detaining judges of superior courts.Police also told the court that while following Islamabad High Court’s judgment announced on Thursday, some new section under 7-ATA has been added in the FIR.After reviewing police’s application, the judge handed the accused to police on transit remand with directing it to produce the accused before the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) before or on April 21.

In its judgment, the court said: Accused produced in custody by the local police with the request of handing him to judicial lock-up. Attesting copies of the order of worthy IHC, passed yesterday reviewed. In which it has been observed that prima facie content of FIR attracts 7-ATA. Therefore, the police is directed the police to comply with the order of IHC. Investigation officer of the case is strictly directed to adhere to the order of IHC in letter and spirit. However, two days’ transit custody of the accused is granted to local police with the direction of producing before the ATC on or before April 21.

After a brief hearing, the court had reserved its decision for a while. During this period, accused remained seated in his car. After the announcement of verdict, the former military chief left the area with his security squad. Police say the accused was in their custody as according to law, anyone granted a transit remand must be kept within police jurisdiction.

According to police, Musharraf had been shifted to Police Line Headquarters. He will be produced any time before the ATC Islamabad, which was hurriedly established on Friday to facilitate the accused, otherwise, due to non-presence of ATC in Islamabad, he would have had to go to ATC Rawalpindi.According to notification issued by the Law Ministry, Session Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi had been given additional charge to hear the terrorism-related case.Meanwhile, Islamabad Inspector General of Police Bani Amin appeared in the IHC on notice before Shaukat Siddiqui. Justice Siddiqui reprimanded the IGP, asking him why he did not come on Thursday. “Why did police not arrest the accused, who despite the presence of police managed to flee the court?”

“Usually around 10 police official reach anywhere in the city to arrest vendors… but in this high-profile case of judges’ confinement, police did not arrest the accused,” the judge remarked.In its order, the court held the IGP responsible for Musharraf fleeing the court premises on Thursday.The court directed the interior secretary to take action against the negligence of IGP and other police officers. The court also ordered the interior secretary to submit a report of police negligence while fixing responsibility by April 23. – PT