Court orders special medical board to examine Musharraf

* Says board must answer three questions and submit report on 24th * Musharraf’s counsel says former COAS needs medical treatment in US
Court orders special medical board to examine Musharraf
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ISLAMABAD: The special court conducting Pervez Musharraf’s high treason trial has constituted a medical board, comprising senior doctors of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), to ascertain the health condition of the former military dictator.
The special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali, asked the medical board to submit its report by January 24, after which it will decide about the appearance of the accused before it. The medical team was asked to give three answers regarding the health of Musharraf – how precarious is the health condition of the accused, which restricts his movement so as to prevent him from attending the court? Has the accused undergone any surgery or other medical procedure during his stay in the hospital or any surgery or medical procedure is planned to be undertaken during his hospitalisation? For how long has the accused been advised further hospitalisation?
While submitting a statement Musharraf’s legal team contended that it was not possible for him to attend the court as he has not been discharged from the hospital and continues to be under treatment at AFIC. Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Musharraf, said that in view of the health of his client, it is not possible for him to attend the court, adding that he has not been discharged from the hospital, and continues to be under treatment.
He also submitted that Musharraf had earlier been under treatment at the International Cardiology, Paris Regional Medical Centre Paris, Texas, USA, and he is being advised that he be transferred at the earliest to the said medical facility so that he is provided further diagnostic and therapeutic treatment. The counsel also attached with the statement a letter from Arjumand Hashmi, the US-based doctor of Musharraf, who recommended that the former military ruler be immediately sent abroad for medical treatment.
Further, Musharraf has challenged the appointment of the prosecutor in the treason case. Anwar Mansoor contended that the prosecutor has not been appointed in accordance with law, is biased and has made several public allegations against the respondents on various media forums and thus cannot act as neutral person/prosecutor. The counsel for Musharraf submitted that the security issue is liable to be reconsidered in view of gruesome attack and the sad demise of SSP Chaudhry Aslam and the destruction of his bulletproof car.
Earlier, when the special court resumed the hearing into treason case, Prosecutor Akram Sheikh argued that the court had summoned Musharraf six times but he did not appear before it, which can be considered contempt of the court. He contended that courts do not wait for the accused and then quoted the example of Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak who was brought to court on a stretcher. “A person who absents himself loses his right of audience,” Sheikh said.

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