ISLAMABAD - The Special Court hearing the high treason case against former army chief general (retd) Pervez Musharraf Tuesday reserved its verdict which will be announced on November 28.

A three-member Special Court headed by Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar and Justice Shahid Kareem conducted hearing of the federal government’s complaint against Musharraf of high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Federal Secretary Ministry of Interior filed the report in pursuant of the court order in this matter. The secretary informed the reasons for denotifying the notification about earlier prosecution team and sought time to issue fresh notification regarding new prosecution team.

Senior lawyer Akram Sheikh was heading the prosecution team which comprised Tariq Hassan, Naseer-ud-Din Nayyar, Sardar Asmatullah and Barrister Natalya Kamal. Akram Sheikh had resigned soon after the PTI’s victory in the 2018 general elections. However, the remaining members of the prosecution continued to appear before the court till October 8.

Judgment to be unveiled on 28th

Prosecutor General Tariq Hassan in the last hearing had prayed to the court that the ample opportunity was granted to the accused adding that the case has been lingering on for the last six years.

He argued that the case has been pending for the last six years, during the period plethora of applications on one ground to another were filed on behalf of the accused who has failed to produce any cogent reason so far.

During the hearing, Justice Waqar Ahmed asked whether the government has sought court permission before changing the entire prosecution team and said; ‘It is unacceptable and hence refused’. He said that despite having 25 days the notification for new prosecution team was not issued yet.

Raza Bashir, whom the court had nominated to represent former army chief in August, 2019, again moved another application for adjournment. It was the 3rd consecutive adjournment sought by the defense counsel. The court directed Musharraf counsel to file written arguments two days prior to the next date when the judgment would be announced.

The former army chief left Pakistan to seek medical treatment in Dubai in March 2016 but did not return so far.

The Supreme Court on 1st April, 2019, asked the Special Court to proceed with the trial of high treason on the next date of hearing (May 2) in case General (retd) Pervez Musharraf surrenders and appears to record statement under section 342, CrPC.

The apex court also ordered: “In case the accused fails to appear on the next date of hearing, being a proclaimed offender, the Special Court is empowered to proceed against the accused even in his absence under section 9 of the Act.”