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Pakistan treason court rejects Musharraf objections

Former president Pervez Musharraf/AFP

Former president Pervez Musharraf/AFP

ISLAMABAD, Mar 7 – Judges hearing treason charges against former Pakistan ruler Pervez Musharraf on Friday rejected his challenges against the special tribunal.

Lawyers for the former general had challenged the constitution of the court and appointment of judges, accusing them of bias against Musharraf, who appeared in person before judges for the first time last month after repeated delays.

Lead judge Faisal Arab said after the hearing that the three-member tribunal panel had dismissed Musharraf’s objections.

The judges have set March 11 as the date to indict the former general, who was ordered to appear in person to hear the charges being read out against him.

He was first ordered to appear before the tribunal on December 24, but has missed repeated hearings since then due to bomb scares and health problems that saw him complain of a heart ailment.

Musharraf became the first former army chief to come before court when he appeared on February 18, in a case that is seen as a test of civilian rule over the country’s powerful army.

Musharraf has endured a torrid time since returning to Pakistan in March last year on an ill-fated mission to run in the general election.

Almost as soon as he landed he was barred from contesting the vote and hit with a barrage of legal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

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