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Musharraf's plea to adjourn high treason case rejected

Musharrafs plea to adjourn high treason case rejected

Islamabad:  A special court in Islamabad on Wednesday rejected former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's plea for adjournment of a hearing of a high treason case against him on medical grounds.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Tahira Safdar also cancelled the former military dictator's right of defence due to his repeated non-appearance before the court, Dawn newspaper reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf in 2013 over the former President's imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007, which led to the confinement of several superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

During the proceedings, Musharraf's lawyer Salman Safdar said that the former Army chief was "fighting for his life", adding that he was not physically or mentally capable of returning to the country.

Musharraf's counsel said that he was "embarrassed" by repeatedly submitting requests to adjourn the case's hearing, the report said.

Safdar said that Musharraf was having "heart chemotherapy" because of which his health had deteriorated.

Musharraf left for Dubai in 2016 to "seek medical treatment" and has not returned since. Earlier in March, he was admitted to a hospital in Dubai after suffering a reaction from a rare disease for which he is already under treatment.

He is said to be suffering from cardiac amyloidosis (congestive heart failure), chronic kidney disease (high creatinine in renal system), excessive somnolence (hypersomnia), spinal injury and fracture. 

On April 1, the Supreme Court had directed the special court to proceed with the trial on the next date of hearing (May 2) and in case the former President surrendered and appeared before it, he would be entitled to record his statement.

But he failed to turn up and his lawyer requested the tribunal to delay the proceedings until an improvement in the health of Musharraf so that he could come back.

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