Musharraf cannot appear in court due to health problems, says counsel

ISLAMABAD: The medical report of former president Pervez Musharraf came under discussion during the hearing of the murder case of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, a former cleric of Lal Masjid, at a local court on Monday.
Additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Wajid Ali on April 2 issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the former military ruler for his repeated absence during the trial of the murder case.
On April 8, however, Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) revoked the arrest warrants after Musharraf’s counsel contended that due to health reasons his client could not attend the proceedings. The IHC also directed the counsel to approach the trial court and satisfy it about the health issue of Musharraf.
As the ADSJ resumed the hearing of the murder case on Monday, the counsel for Gen Musharraf filed an application along with his recent medical report prepared by nine Karachi-based cardiologists and medical specialists. As per the report, the doctors citing cardiac reasons advised the former military ruler not to travel out of station.
It may be mentioned that in April last year, Gen Musharraf left Islamabad for Karachi for the treatment of his backbone. While in the federal capital, the 75-year-old former army chief was shifted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) Rawalpindi on January 2, 2014, after he developed a cardiac unrest while on way to the special court seized with the high treason case against him. From the AFIC, he was shifted to his Chak Shahzad farmhouse on April 3 after he was indicted in the treason case.
Counsel submits medical report to local court seized with Lal Masjid cleric’s murder case
The counsel for Gen Musharraf sought an exemption from personal attendance of his client in the trial court on account of his ailment. However, the counsel for the complainant – Haroon Rashid, son of Rashid Ghazi – expressed ‘doubts’ on the authenticity of the medical report. The complainant’s counsel Tariq Asad argued that the report dated April 2 claimed that the former military ruler could not travel due to his sickness. But Gen Musharraf appeared on television programmes on April 8, 15 and 19 and seemed quite healthy, he added.
He argued that the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) had announced a convention on May 1 where Musharraf was scheduled to speak.
“Even if it is presumed that Gen Musharraf is suffering from cardiac problems, he can attend the court proceedings,” he said, adding airlines had all the facilities for such patients.
Advocate Asad said he could submit the recording of the television programmes in which Gen Musharraf had appeared as a guest on the next date of hearing. He demanded that the court may summon the head of the medical board which examined Gen Musharraf.
ADSJ Ali adjourned further hearing in the matter till May 5 while granting exemption to Gen Musharraf for a day. On the next date of hearing, the court would continue hearing the matter related to the exemption of Gen Musharraf on medical grounds.
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