Court directs former president to appear in person on Jan. 16.
A court trying Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf for treason ordered him on Thursday to appear in person on Jan. 16, after considering a medical report on his heart complaint.
After considering a medical report—which diagnosed the former commando with triple-vessel coronary artery disease—the court ordered Musharraf to appear on Jan. 16. Another hearing is due in the case on Friday, when judges will consider certain procedural matters.
The ruling grants the 70-year-old, currently in a military hospital, a week’s respite in the case. He has yet to appear in person before the specially convened three-judge tribunal, missing hearings due to security fears and lately a health scare. He was rushed to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi on his way to the tribunal last week, and has remained there ever since.
Musharraf’s camp says the treason allegations, which relate to his imposition of emergency rule in November 2007, are politically motivated and his lawyers have challenged the authority of the tribunal.
His sudden health scare was met with skepticism by some observers, and rampant media speculation that his departure, as part of a face-saving deal to avert a civil-military clash, could be imminent. Rumors have circulated for months that a backroom deal would be struck to whisk him overseas to avoid a potentially destabilizing clash between the government, which brought the charges, and the powerful armed forces. But the former commando has said he wants to stay and fight the charges.