ISLAMABAD - The lack of coordination among the legal team members of former President Pervez Musharraf defending high treason case against him became obvious in Monday’s proceeding when Farogh Naseem withdrew the application submitted by other members of the team on April 17.
Siddique Mirza, who had filed the application (17/2014), shared with The Nation that he had prepared the application that the section 6 (1)(a) of Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976 had been repealed and, therefore, the court should not have framed the charges of high treason against Musharraf.
Mirza said that he and Ahmed Raza Kasuri had signed the application on 23rd March 2014 and filed it in the Special Court on 17th April, as their colleagues did not highlight this issue, therefore the court had framed the charges on 31st March.
During the proceeding, Naseem filed an application to withdraw the petition number 17/2014. He urged the court to first announce the order on provision of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) investigation report to Musharraf because they would frame the future strategy accordingly. The court had reserved the order regarding the matter on April 25, which would be announced on May 8.
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh argued before the three-judge Special Court that four months had passed but former army chief’s high treason trial had not commenced yet. “Whether the trial would start after one year or two years?” he asked.
Justice Faisal Arab, who was presiding over the bench, said this process was alien to the proceedings, adding it would be against the fair trial if the defence team was denied opportunity to argue the applications.
Sheikh pleaded that no one was standing in the way of fair trial. He also denied the assertion, attributed to him, that if the list of persons interrogated by FIA was handed over to defence team then the government would be embarrassed.
“I did not say that the government will be embarrassed if the list is given to Musharraf,” Sheikh said, and added hundreds of people had been interrogated by the FIA, therefore if the list was provided to Musharraf’s counsels then it would be embarrassing for those who had given statements to the investigation agency.
In the last hearing, the court had said that the proceeding would be conducted on day-to-day basis but on Monday after hearing Naseem’s arguments the court adjourned the case till May 8.