Pervez Musharraf Flees After A Pakistan High Court Cancels Bail And Issues Arrest Order

   on April 18 2013 9:43 AM

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf fled from the Islamabad High Court on Thursday, after the judge cancelled his bail and issued an arrest warrant against him over moves to impose house arrest on judges in March 2007.

Musharraf was seeking bail in the case and was present at the High Court when Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the order that could have led to his immediate arrest at the court room.

However, the police present at the court room made no immediate attempts to arrest him when the order was made, BBC reported.

The former military ruler managed to get out of the court premises with the help of his private body guards and apparently drove away in his bullet-proof car escorted by a battery of armed security personnel, the Press Trust of India reported.  

The court had dismissed Musharraf’s plea of extension of bail in a case over detention of more than 60 judges during the 2007 emergency. In the previous hearing, the court had extended the interim bail of Musharraf till Apr. 18.

According to the police, Musharraf has reached his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad and he is likely to be arrested there.

A scuffle broke out between a large number of Musharraf’s supporters gathered at the court premises and lawyers who demanded immediate arrest of the former General.

Musharraf can appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment.  

Musharraf arrived in Pakistan in March last week after ending four years of self-imposed exile and defying death threats to run in the May general elections. The retired general has been battling a slew of court cases since his arrival.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday he was disqualified from contesting in the general elections mainly due to the trials he faces. 

On Wednesday, he got an extension of bail in connection with the case in which he is accused of conspiring to murder opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

In another case Wednesday, Pakistan’s caretaker government sought more time from the Supreme Court to decide whether it is within its mandate to initiate a treason case against the former military ruler, Dawn newspaper reported. 

Five petitions were placed for hearing in the Supreme Court that seek trial of Musharraf for treason under Article 6 of the constitution for suspending the constitution, clamping down emergency on Nov. 3, 2007 and arresting over 60 judges. If prosecuted and found guilty for treason Musharraf could face capital punishment. The court was adjourned for hearing till Monday.  

In addition, Musharraf is charged for his alleged involvement in the killing of a Baloch tribal chieftain. 

The former General Musharraf became president following a bloodless military coup in 1999 and ruled the country till August 2008. He resigned following a threat of impeachment by a newly-elected parliament and opted for an exile to escape legal charges.

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