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Pak court orders Musharraf’s arrest

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MusharrafA special Pakistani court has ordered the government to arrest former president general (retired) Pervez Musharraf and confiscate his properties in the high-treason case, wherein he had imposed emergency rule in the country in 2007.

A three-member bench headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi held its first hearing in the case in eight months.

During the hearing, the Pakistan Interior Ministry submitted a report to the court on Musharraf’s properties, stating that four of the seven properties were owned by him, The Nation reported.

Prosecutor Akram Sheikh asked the court to order Musharraf’s arrest.

On Thursday, the special court asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials what was the procedure to bring back Musharraf to Pakistan from Dubai. The officials replied that the interior ministry needed to send them a request after which action could be taken.

Musharraf, who left the country for Dubai in March 2016, was declared a “proclaimed absconder” by the court in May 2016.

Judge Afridi then recommended his arrest in the high treason case. In Pakistan, a conviction for high treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

During the hearing, the court sought mutual legal assistance agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the matter of his arrest from Dubai.

The court also expressed anger over the non-receipt of details of his foreign properties even after 10 months. It summoned Pakistan’s Foreign Office and FIA authorities on the next hearing, besides seeking mutual legal assistance agreement with the UAE.

The 74-year-old former president was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for imposing emergency in Pakistan, which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan for nine years (1999-2008), is wanted in several criminal cases, which also includes the alleged killing of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

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