Special court orders confiscation of Musharraf’s properties

Islamabad: The special court on Thursday ordered authorities concerned to confiscate properties of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in a treason case. A three-member bench headed by Peshawar High Court chief justice Yahya Afridi and comprising chief justices of the Lahore High Court, Justice Yawar Ali, and the Balochistan High Court, Justice Tahira Safdar, have resumed hearing of the treason case after a gap of night months. The bench, formed in 2013, is hearing the case of imposition of extra-constitutional emergency by Musharraf in November 2007.

During the hearing, the Interior Ministry submitted in court a report on Musharraf’s properties, stating that four of seven properties were owned by the former president and army chief.

Prosecutor Akram Sheikh, presenting arguments, pressed the court to order Musharraf’s arrest and production in court.

The court inquired from the Federal Investigation Agency officials about the procedure for bringing back an absconder from abroad. The officials replied that the Interior Ministry was required to send a request in this regard, after which action can be taken.

PHC Chief Justice Afridi remarked that the court is ordering the arrest and seizure of Musharraf’s properties. Musharraf’s counsel, Akhtar Shah, pleaded the court not to order confiscation of Musharraf’s properties until March 21, but Justice Afridi remarked that court procedure cannot be affected.

The hearing was adjourned until March 21.

Earlier during the hearing, senior lawyer Farogh Naseem excused himself from Musharraf’s legal team.

The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.

On March 18, 2016, the former president left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) on the orders of the Supreme Court. A few months later, the special court declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show.

Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.