Pak SC warns Musharraf of action if he doesn’t record statement in treason case

Islamabad: Insisting that a trial becomes “unconstitutional” in suspect’s absence, Pakistan Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa warned former President Pervez Musharraf on Monday of strict action if he does not appear during the next hearing to record his statement.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by a lawyer, which stated that the proceeding of the treason case has come to a halt as the former President has not returned to the country since 2016.

“Despite assurances, if Musharraf does not come back, what would happen then? Something should be done if he does not return,” Dawn quoted Justice Khosa, as saying.

Stating that “high treason is not an average crime,” Justice Khosa also said: “A trial becomes unconstitutional in the absence of a suspect.”

Musharraf’s lawyer Salman Safdar had earlier said that his client is expected to return to the country May 13.

The apex court last month also issued a notice to the government, seeking a reply on the steps taken to bring former President Musharraf to the country.

The high treason case against Musharraf was filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2013, alleging that Musharraf had unlawfully suspended the Constitution with the help of the military and instituted an emergency rule in 2007.