Judges met Musharraf before emergency proclamation: counsel

The counsel for former president Pervez Musharraf claimed on Wednesday that several judges of the Supreme Court visited his client before the imposition of emergency and the sacking of then chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in 2007.

Arguing before the special court seized with the high treason trial of retired General Musharraf, Barrister Farogh Nasim said he could not disclose the names of the judges concerned because he was in the court not to malign anyone but to fight for his case.

He requested the court to verify his claim by summoning the record of the presidency and the camp office of Mr Musharraf adjacent to the Army House in Rawalpindi.

Former president’s lawyer declines to name the judges
He urged the court to summon the record of meetings of the former president with the then governors, services chiefs, government officials and politicians from July 1, 2007 to Nov 3, 2007. “The head of security of the President House can submit the names of people who entered the President House during that period,” he said.

He also requested the court to summon the record of National Assembly’s session of Nov 7, 2007, which he said endorsed the proclamation of emergency through a resolution.

Barrister Nasim contended that all the people who proposed and endorsed the proclamation of emergency and those who implemented the measures involved “should be deemed as conspirators, collaborators and abettors” in the case.

He urged the court to consider three options for imparting justice in the matter: return the complaint to the complainant for correction, alter the charge-sheet or quash the complaint because of selective investigation.

He claimed that the prosecution changed the investigation report to single out Mr Musharraf by presenting selected documents in the court instead of all the evidence.

The prosecution, he said, removed from the report the dissenting note of Federal Investigation Agency Director Hussain Asghar who had opposed the singling out of Mr Musharraf. On the basis of the note the joint investigation team had unanimously recommended that the role of facilitators of imposition of emergency should be taken into account.

He said that Mr Musharraf imposed emergency in his capacity as chief of the army staff. He relinquished the charge of army chief on Nov 27, 2007, but his successor General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not lift emergency until nearly two weeks after his appointment, on Dec 15, 2007. “Why did the prosecution not implicate Mr Kayani in the case as a co-accused?”

After Barrister Nasim concluded his arguments, the court adjourned the hearing till Tuesday when Advocate Akram Sheikh, the head of the prosecution team, would present his arguments.

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