General (R) Pervaiz Musharaf High-Treason Trial: Delayed Again?

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General (R) Pervez Musharaf’s case of high-treason decisions still remains undecided after six years. According to the law, the decision has to be made speedily.

The verdict of his trial was to be announced on November 28 by the Special Court which was specifically set up for his trial. Islamabad High Court has also been approached on Monday to block the Special Court from handing down the final decision.

Musharaf has also approached Islamabad High Court to shut down his trial once again. However, under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976, ” No trial before the Special Court shall be adjourned for any purpose unless the Special Court is of opinion that the adjournment is necessary for the interest of justice, and, in particular, no trial shall be adjourned by reason of the absence of any accused person due to illness, or if the absence of the accused or his counsel has been brought about the accused person himself, or if the behavior of the accused person prior to such absence has been, in the opinion of the Special Court, such as to impede the course of justice but, in any such case, the Special Court shall proceed with the trial after taking necessary steps to appoint an advocate to defend any such accused person.”

The trial has been again delayed for six years despite the clear legal aspect.

Criminal Complaint No. 1/2013 under sections 3 and 5 of the High Treason Act 1973 and Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Special Act was instituted against General (R) Musharraf before the Special Court on 17-12-2013 (The News). He was supposed to appear before the special court on December 24, 2013. Musharraf did not appear before the court since he reported to have heart problems and decided to leave for getting the medical assistance.

The trial will complete its six years on the 17th of December this year which is a very long period when it comes to a Special Court Act 1976 case.

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