ISLAMABAD: A day before a special court was set to announce its judgement in the high treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stopped it from issuing the verdict.
The IHC order came on a petition filed by the interior ministry which had requested it to set aside the special court’s decision to announce its judgement in the high treason case on November 28.
The IHC accepted the ministry’s petition and barred the special court from announcing the verdict. A similar petition filed by Musharraf was disposed of with the court issuing directions on it.
“For reasons to be recorded later, we allow writ petition […] filed by the Ministry of Interior,” the court said in its short order, setting aside the special court’s Nov 19 decision to reserve its judgement in the case.
The IHC has directed the federal government to notify a new prosecutor or a team of prosecution in the treason case by December 5. In addition, the special court has been ordered to fix a date “for affording a reasonable opportunity of hearing” to the notified prosecutor or prosecution team as well as the counsel appointed for Musharraf.
According to the short order, the special court is also “expected to take into consideration” the grounds raised in an application filed by Musharraf seeking his acquittal in the high treason case.
“The learned special court is expected to conclude the proceedings expeditiously having [regard] to the cardinal principles of fair trial,” the order reads.
The IHC has also allowed Musharraf’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar to assist the counsel appointed for the former military ruler during the hearing, if he so wishes.
The court had earlier today reserved its verdict on both Musharraf and the interior ministry’s petitions.