Defence Urges Court to Let Go of Musharraf

Acquit former chief of army staff general (retd) Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case and proceed against those who had advised him for imposing emergency on 3rd November 2007. 

The legal team of Musharraf pleaded this before a Special Court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali, here on Tuesday.

Pervez Musharraf
Defence urges court to let go of Mush

The Special Court established under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976, has been hearing federation’s complaint against the former military dictator for holding in abeyance the Constitution on 3rd of November by issuing Proclamation of Emergency, Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and Judge Oath Order. Barrister Farogh Nasim, representing the ex-COAS, contended that due process of law and fair trial was not followed in the case, therefore, his client be acquitted in the interest of justice. The defense counsel while justifying his plea to involve the co-accused in the matter, pointed out that the judges of superior courts, who acceded to former army chief Pervez Musharraf’s action of October 12, 1999 also comes under the purview of Article 6 of the Constitution.  

Farogh Nasim contended that Nawaz Sharif once supported Martial Law of late former army chief Ziaul Haq and later tendered apology. “Was it not a crime like the high treason”, Farogh Nasim questioned. The defense counsel submitted that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its inquiry report only focused his client Musharraf and therefore termed the FIA team investigation against settled principles of due process and fair trial. Farogh Nasim contended that Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan does not allow selective prosecution, saying it is very much clear either everybody or nobody was involved in the high treason. 

The learned defense counsel said the burden of proof in criminal jurisprudence lies upon the prosecution, adding that not an iota of evidence was produced by the prosecution in the matter. He contended that Secretary Interior had also admitted before this court that the civil and army officials were not investigated in the matter. 

Similarly, he argued that former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had also confessed on television about consultation for proclamation of emergency, but he was not investigated by the concerned authorities. The court adjourned the hearing till today wherein the defense counsel will continue his arguments. -nation