- Musharraf’s lawyer wants abettors also tried for imposition of emergency on Nov 3, 2007
- Ibrahim Satti retracts earlier statement that Musharraf decided emergency imposition on his own
Former army chief General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer Barrister Farogh Naseem on Tuesday requested the special court to take action against those who supported his client during November 3, 2007 Emergency.
A three-member bench of special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab heard the high treason case against Gen Musharraf in the premises of Federal Shariat Court. The hearing venue was shifted from the National Library due to security reasons.
During the hearing, Naseem said that the decision related to the appointment of the prosecutor in the case was still pending and the court, in its ruling of March 27, had said that the decision would be announced before the start of testimony. The lawyer asked the court to announce the decision in this regard.
Justice Arab said that the decision regarding the appointment of the prosecutor would be announced on April 18.
Furthermore, Naseem said that the court should also try under the treason charges all abettors in the former president’s emergency proclamation of November 3, 2007. Following Naseem’s request, the court granted him permission to present his arguments on the issue.
HOLD OTHERS RESPONSIBLE TOO:
Naseem then continued that according to international laws, a single person could not be targeted under any charge and the people who were mentioned to have been consulted over the November 3 notification should also be sent notices and tried in court. He added that it also included people who had prepared the notification and ensured its implementation, however there was no mention of an enquiry against these people in the investigation report.
The lawyer also said that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report had also not been made public yet.
Naseem claimed that a member of the investigation committee wrote a dissenting note which was not included and questioned the prosecution’s motives for excluding the note. He demanded that the court should order for the provision of a copy of the investigation report and the dissenting note. Moreover, he said that it was the prosecution’s duty to bring forth all the evidence regarding November 3 incident.
PROSECUTION COMES IN:
Akram Sheikh, while presenting his arguments, said that if it was the legal right of the suspect to get the report then it would be provided and that the law would have to be re-examined in this regard.
Sheikh said the court gave its verdict on March 7 regarding trial of others involved in November 3 decision, according to which if evidences were found against anyone in the records then the court would consider it. He added that the court had said the point would be reviewed during the proceedings of the case.
Under Section 5 of the Special Court Act, the federal government was obligated to provide only three documents which included details of the crime, complaint and list of witnesses, he added. He further said that as the special court was not a high court, it cannot apply the Section 561 of the military law to this case.
Sheikh said that the government was not obligated to present the joint investigation report (JIT) and the officer who gave the dissenting note was also a witness. He further said that he would be presented in court along with his report and Naseem could cross examine him then. He also said that the JIT would be presented in court and to the defence attorney.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing of the case until Wednesday after listening to the arguments of both parties.
In the last hearing of the case, the court had read out the indictment against the ex-army strongman, with Musharraf pleading “not guilty” to each of the charges.
The court had also granted Musharraf exemption from appearing in the case’s hearings, saying the accused could be ordered to appear whenever required.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Satti, one of the lawyers from legal panel of former president Pervez Musharraf, has submitted a clarification with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, backing off from his earlier contention that his client had imposed November 2007 emergency in his personal discretion.
Satti had submitted during the proceedings of a review petition against Supreme Court’s July 31 ruling that Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, “in his discretion” as chief of army staff and not on the basis of a letter written by the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz.
Musharraf on Tuesday said he had imposed emergency on the advice of then prime minister Shaukat Aziz after consultation with civil and military aides and that not in his discretion.
In a statement issued through his lawyers, the former military ruler claimed, “Imposition of emergency by the army chief was merely a legal understanding of Satti and he was not asked to submit that before the top court on behalf of his client.”
Now, the lawyer had prayed the court to make his clarification a part of record.