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

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

sexual harassment

‘Will you have fun with me?’: Immigration officer sexually harasses female passenger at Delhi airport

HINDUSTAN TIMES An immigration officer at the Delhi airport has been suspended after a female passenger complained that he sexually harassed her by asking obscene…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Two Surrey men in hospital with gunshot wounds after targeted shooting

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Two men are in hospital with gunshot wounds following what appears to be a targeted shooting in Surrey on Thursday night….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

World Cup final

Underarm incident recalled as Australia-New Zealand rivalry rekindles in World Cup final

STEVE MCMORRAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Relations between New Zealand and Australia at a political level have regained their natural cordiality in the…
Continue Reading »

Cricket World Cup

Clarke’s Australians prepare to take on unpopular role in the World Cup final vs New Zealand

JOHN PYE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Win or lose, Michael Clarke and his Australian teammates are probably going to be portrayed as the…
Continue Reading »

India-Australia-weird news

Youth cut his tongue as sacrifice at an Indian temple for nation’s cricket victory

IANS Chennai – In a senseless act, a cricket crazy youth in Tamil Nadu offered the tip of his tongue as a sacrifice at a…
Continue Reading »

Freedom-Section 66A-India

Teenager shoots himself after father bans Facebook chat

IANS Lucknow - A 14-year-old boy shot himself Thursday after his father reprimanded him for chatting too often on social networking site Facebook, police said. The…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

pakistani sex meera-Veena Malik

Gallery: Bollywood celebs in trouble with the law

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Indian film actress Shruti Haasan has run into legal trouble after she pulled out of a signed contract, according to an…
Continue Reading »

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Bollywood actor Salman Khan denies he was driving or drunk during 2002 accident

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Friday told a Mumbai court, conducting the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving him, that he…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Amitabh Bachchan: Balki challenges me with never-done-before roles

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai – R. Balakrishnan and Amitabh Bachchan’s much anticipated third outing “Shamitabh” turned out to be a box office disaster, but…
Continue Reading »