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Red warrants may be issued against Musharraf in treason case

Islamabad : The Pakistan Government has signaled its will in issuing red warrants or forfeiture of surety of former president General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf to record his statement in a treason case under Section 342 of the CrPC.

The chief prosecutor in the case, Akram Sheikh, had on the direction of the Special Court submitted a statement yesterday indicating the issuance of a ‘red warrant’ for Musharraf to ensure his presence in the treason case, reports the Express Tribune.

The statement also suggested an alternative, suggesting recording of Musharraf’s statement through video link/Skype in the interest of justice under Section 342.

A three-judge bench of the Special Court, headed by Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, asked all parties concerned to file their statements and also wanted to know why Musharraf was allowed to leave despite the existence of summons.

The prosecutor in his statement filed last year said that he had written to the then Secretary for the Interior Ministry to place Musharraf’s name on the ECL and the FIA’s investigation team had submitted its challan on November 16, 2013.

“The inquiry team apprehended that due to lack of evidence in support of his defence, General Musharraf may attempt to leave the country. Hence, an inquiry team promptly moved the interior ministry to place his name on the ECL,” the Express Tribune quoted the prosecutor as saying.

According to the statement, the prosecution team regularly informed the federal government, which is complainant in the case, adding an official of the Interior Ministry was present on all dates, including March 8 this year when the Special Court summoned Musharraf for recording his statement.

The statement also said that since the order was also disseminated widely through the press, there was no room for condoning the absence of the accused (Musharraf).

The prosecutor in his reply said that the accused had given an undertaking to the Special Court for appearing as and when directed and in light of the notice, the onus to appear before the court was on Musharraf.

He said only the accused could explain why he failed to obey the court’s order and it was for him to file an application seeking one-time exemption from his attendance on March 31, adding the accused should have sought the court’s permission to go abroad. (ANI)