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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 29/03/2014
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(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) a statement issued by the court said justice arab had not disassociated himself from the case but rather had just walked out of the court for the day (thursday)

Justice faisal arab head of the special court constituted to try former military ruler gen. pervez musharraf who had on thursday morning walked out of the court room amid tense exchanges with lawyers of the former general in the afternoon returned to the court and announced he would continue to preside over the hearing.


A statement issued by the court said justice arab had not disassociated himself from the case but rather had just walked out of the court for the day (thursday).


The statement further clarified that the non-bailable arrest warrants against musharraf issued by the court in its order a fortnight ago remained effective.


It was earlier reported that justice arab who heads the three-member bench had recused himself from the hearing after being repeatedly accused by the defence attorney of bias.


The special court also dismissed petitions filed against the non-bailable arrest warrants for musharraf.


Musharraf is currently lodged in the armed forces’ institute of cardiology (afic) rawalpindi close to the ghq since january 5 after he complained of heart problem. he has refused to have angiography in the most sophisticated cardiology hospital of the country and demanded that he be allowed to travel abroad for treatment.


The hearing of the case was adjourned till march 31.


Earlier on thursday it had been widely reported that justice arab had recused himself from the court following an exchange of arguments with musharraf’s counsel anwar mansoor.


However the judge later clarified that he had only walked out of thursday’s proceedings as opposed to dissociating himself from the case altogether.


Adjourning the case to march 31 the court also ruled that its earlier order for the government to arrest and produce musharraf if he refused to appear before it on the said date on his own remained intact.


Earlier during the hearing mansoor told the court that inclusion of the arrest warrant in the court’s order gave the impression that the former military strongman was not appearing before the court on purpose but that was not the case. he said his client had serious reservations against the court’s move.


Upon hearing this chief prosecutor akram sheikh began his line of arguments but was interrupted by mansoor who said that the defence team had objections against sheikh’s appointment as prosecutor adding that the court had reserved its order over the matter.


He said that sheikh should not be allowed to argue in court as the defence team had been raising objections against his appointment from day one as well as against the manner in which the proceedings were taking place.


Mansoor further claimed that it was common knowledge in the corridors of the national assembly and the senate that sheikh was tasked with the objective of awarding punishment to musharraf.


Justice arab said that submission of an application against the prosecutor’s appointment did not mean he should be stopped from arguing in court. the judge added that it was the court’s job to make a decision on the matter and if the application was accepted only then could sheikh be stopped from performing his duties as chief prosecutor.


Subsequently justice arab left the court room saying that if the defence did not think the judges to be impartial the country had no dearth of jurists who could be asked to do the job.


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