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Musharraf remanded in 14-day judicial custody

Musharraf remanded in 14-day judicial custody
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Islamabad (PTI): Facing treason charges, former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appeared before an anti-terrorism court here...

mus2Islamabad (PTI): Facing treason charges, former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appeared before an anti-terrorism court here which sent him to 14-day judicial custody but instead of jail he will be detained at his sprawling farmhouse which has been declared a sub-jail.

After spending a night in detention at the police headquarters, 69-year-old Musharraf was produced before Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi of the anti-terrorism court amid chaotic scenes with lawyers raising slogans against the former President and scuffling with his supporters.

A grim-looking Musharraf walked the short distance from his SUV to the court, surrounded by his bodyguards and dozens of security personnel. He waved and saluted to his followers before entering the courtroom on the first floor of the building. No one was allowed to come close to him. Musharraf waved to his followers again as he left the court.

The Judge remanded him to judicial custody till May 4, a day after his arrest for treason for detaining over 60 judges after declaring emergency in 2007. A three-member Supreme Court bench has also been constituted to hear petitions seeking directions for initiating high treason trial against Musharraf for subverting the constitution and imposing emergency.

Zaidi briefly reserved his judgment before announcing his decision. He directed authorities to produce Musharraf in court again on May 4. During the hearing held at the court complex in Sector F-8 in the heart of Islamabad, Musharraf's lawyer Qamar Afzal told the judge that he was cooperating with police officials investigating the detention of judges during emergency. Afzal opposed any move to remand Musharraf to police custody, citing security concerns.

He further said Musharraf could approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the revocation of his bail by the Islamabad High Court. Ashraf Gujjar, the counsel for those who filed petitions against Musharraf, contended he should be remanded to police custody as a fresh investigation would have to be conducted against the former President regarding the imposition of emergency.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court constituted a three-member bench to hear petitions seeking directions for initiating high treason trial against Musharraf for subverting the Constitution and imposing emergency in 2007.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja will head the bench that will include two other members, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, a Supreme Court statement said. The bench will hear petitions in the case on Monday. While being held at the farmhouse, Musharraf will be allowed to retain the bodyguards provided to him by the Army, sources said.

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