ISLAMABAD - In order to delay Pervez Musharraf high treason trial, Musharraf’s legal team will submit a long list of its witnesses after the examination of prosecution witnesses.
The sources told The Nation that the defence team has prepared a long list of witnesses who will record their statements before the Special Court and then will be cross-examined by the prosecution. “This case will not conclude soon as recording of statements and cross-examinations of our witnesses will take much time, as they would in hundreds,” the sources added.
Out of the total 10 prosecution witnesses, Shahid Khan, secretary interior and complainant, Deputy Secretary Siraj Ahmed and Section Officer Kaleem Ahmed Shahzad of cabinet division, Taj Umar Khan, deputy solicitor at ministry of law and justice, and Khalid Khan, producer at Pakistan Television, have recorded their statement and have also been questioned by the defence counsels, while Khalid Rasool, deputy director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), has recorded the statement but he would be crossed-examined on the next hearing i.e. August 5.
The FIA investigation team had recorded the statements of total 25 witnesses, which included former Governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool and Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, and the then secretaries of ministry of law and cabinet division. The FIA team through ministry of defence tried to contact the GHQ for recording the statements of those army officials who had worked or were under the command of Pervez Musharraf at the time of proclamation of emergency but failed as the GHQ did not respond to the request.
Musharraf’s counsels on May 22, 2014 had an application in which their stance was that the National Assembly in 44th session on November 7, 2007 had passed a resolution in favour of 3rd November action. Similarly, the then cabinet, including advisors and attorney general for Pakistan, the governors, chief ministers, chief secretaries, home secretaries, inspector generals of police, members of the provincial cabinets and provincial assemblies of all the four provinces had also supported the former president to impose emergency in the country and issue provisional constitutional order and take other steps.
The sources said that the defence team would request the court to issue summons to some of the parliamentarians and officials, who were in the then cabinet and are also part of the present set-up, so that they could also be crossed-examined.
Chaudhry Faisal, one of the members of Musharraf legal team, told The Nation that from 1st July 2007 to 3rd November 2007 Musharraf had met with the then governors, service chiefs, bureaucrats and politicians in President House, Islamabad, and the Army House Rawalpindi because Musharraf was holding dual office.
He said that they had prayed to the special court to direct the prosecution to provide the names and present addresses of service chiefs and corps commanders performed duties on 3.11.2007, former caretaker prime minister, members of the federal caretaker cabinet from November 2007 till December 15, 2007, list of the members of the cabinet, including its advisors and attorney general for Pakistan on 3rd November, 2007, governors, chief ministers, chief secretaries, home secretaries, inspector generals of police, members of the cabinet and provincial assemblies of all the four provinces from 3.11.2007 to 15.12.2007. The court had however turned their request.
Ch Faisal said after the court’s decision Musharraf had contacted them and pursued them to give statements in his favour in the Special Court.