Musharraf's counsel files petition for removal of terrorism charges

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 14 (ANI): Former Pakistan president General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf's counsel has filed two petitions in the Islamabad High Court seeking removal of terrorism charges against the former military ruler in the judges' detention case and nullification of perpetual warrants issued against him.

According to the Dawn, advocate Akhtar Shah in the first petition challenged invocation of certain Sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, against the former military ruler in connection with the judges' detention case, which is about the alleged detention of over 60 judges of superior courts soon after the proclamation of a state of emergency on November 3, 2007.

Initially, Musharraf was booked under some Sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, but Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court while hearing the pre-arrest bail application of the suspect directed the Secretariat Police Station to book him under the ATA for confining judges to their residences, thereby incapacitating them from administrating justice.

According to advocate Shah, the prosecution could not bring evidence to justify the application of ATA to the accused. The lawyer urged the bench to either quash the entire proceedings or remove terrorism charges against his client and remand the case to a sessions' judge.

The bench reserved its verdict on the maintainability of the petition.

The second petition was filed against an order of a trial court under which Musharraf was declared an absconder and perpetual warrants were issued for him in the murder case of a cleric belonging to Lal Masjid.

The court has adjourned the hearing till the first week of April. (ANI)