Bomb scare near former Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf’s house delays first hearing in trial

Published: December 24, 2013
Pervez Musharraf Pakistan

Pakistani policemen stand guard near the residence of former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on December 24, 2013. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

REBECCA SANTANA And ZARAR KHAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A bomb scare delayed the first hearing in a high treason case against former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday, police and legal officials said.

The case is the most serious legal challenge Musharraf has faced since returning to the country in March in hopes of taking part in upcoming elections. But what followed — a ban on running for office, house arrest and a cascade of legal cases against him — marked a stunning turn in fortunes for a man once considered the most powerful person in Pakistan and a close American ally.

Authorities on Tuesday found an explosive device and two pistols about one kilometre (half a mile) away from Musharraf’s residence on the Islamabad suburbs, police official Mohammed Ali said.

A lawyer for Musharraf, Anwar Mansoor Khan, told the court that his client could not attend because of a “serious threat to his life.” The chief judge said he understood that it requires “security” to reach the court and directed Musharraf to appear on Jan. 1 for another hearing.

Pervez Musharraf Pakistan

FILE: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

The brief hearing held Tuesday at an auditorium at the National Library was expected to be largely procedural but the significance of having a former army chief appearing in front of a treason court would be enormous in a country where the military’s power has rarely been challenged.

Security was beefed up outside the National Library, and about a dozen paramilitary Rangers were stationed inside the auditorium where the three-judge panel was to hear the case.

The Pakistani Taliban threatened to kill Musharraf after his return from abroad. He earned the enmity of militants in Pakistan for his support while in office for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and the military offensives he ordered in Pakistan’s tribal areas as well as a raid on a mosque in Islamabad.

Musharraf took power during a 1999 coup and ruled Pakistan until 2008 when he was forced to step down. He later left the country and spent about four years in self-imposed exile.

He returned in March only to find himself swiftly arrested on numerous charges stemming from his time in office.

The high treason case stems from his 2007 decision to fire and detain some judges including the country’s chief justice after declaring a state of emergency and suspending the constitution.

The move backfired as lawyers supporting the judges took to the streets in widespread protests that eventually weakened Musharraf’s government so much that he was forced to call new elections and step down.

Musharraf has repeatedly said he is not guilty of the charges, and his legal team has portrayed the repeated legal cases as a “vendetta” against him by the judicial community.

On Tuesday, his lawyers filed petitions challenging the formation of the special court, and the appointment of the judges and the prosecutor.

“We think these judges have a bias against our client,” said a member of Musharraf’s legal team, Mohammad Ali Saif.

Musharraf has spent most of his time since returning to the country under house arrest at his sprawling home in the Islamabad suburbs. The former army commando spends his time working out, swimming in his pool and visiting with old friends, his legal team says.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb Tuesday struck a vehicle carrying police officers in the northwestern city of Mansehra, killing one of them and wounding two others, local police official Ayaz Khan said.

Mansehra lies about 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Peshawar.

Also Tuesday, two bombs went off minutes apart in the southern port city of Karachi, killing three people and wounding 26, local police official Mohammed Riaz said.

The blasts took place in the city’s Orangi neighbourhood, hours before minority Shiites were to hold a religious rally there, Riaz said. No one claimed responsibility for the bombings but previous such attacks have been blamed on pro-Taliban Sunni militants who consider Shiites to be heretics.

——

Associated Press writers Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Munir Ahmed contributed to this report.

10:43ET 24-12-13

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

India

Man proudly wears world’s largest turban weighing in at 100 pounds and 645 metres long unwrapped

VANCOUVER DESI A 60-year-old devout Sikh in northern India appears to be the proud owner of the world’s largest turban – weighing in at 100…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Child pornography

Abbotsford man charged with possession and distribution of child pornography

THE CANADIAN PRESS ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Charges of possessing and distributing child pornography and obstructing justice have been laid against a 39-year-old Abbotsford, B.C., man….
Continue Reading »

Canada-sorcery

Quebec ‘clairvoyant medium’ charged under obscure sorcery law over false claims of practicing witchcraft

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM A Quebec man who advertised his services as a “clairvoyant medium” is in trouble for not delivering on his prophecies after…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

India-Khatav-Akola,Maharashtra

Baby born with two faces in India fighting for life (Warning: Graphic content)

VANCOUVER DESI A baby born with two faces and four eyes is fighting for her life at a hospital in western India, according to Ruptly….
Continue Reading »

PRV0826-SOCIETYEVICTED_217653098

City of Vancouver gives multicultural society the boot

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Multicultural Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations have hit a major snag after the city issued the group notice of eviction…
Continue Reading »

Mystic India: The World Tour takes the PNE stage Tuesday and runs until Sept. 1. Submitted photo.

Bollywood dance group Mystic India takes stage at PNE for one week only (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance troupe Mystic India will be transporting Vancouver audiences overseas as it takes the PNE stage for one week only….
Continue Reading »

cen main.jpg

Woman in India survives hour-long battle with leopard, armed only with small agricultural tool

CEN NEWS A 54-year-old woman has astonished wildlife experts in India after she survived a terrifying hour-long battle with a hungry leopard. Widow Kamla Devi…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she’d be…
Continue Reading »

Imam Siddique

Imam Siddique excited about Bollywood debut

IANS Mumbai – Imam Siddique, best remembered for his appearance in reality show “Bigg Boss 6″, is making his Bollywood debut with a film titled…
Continue Reading »