Pakistan court denies Musharraf's request to go abroad for medical treatment

[JURIST] A Pakistani court on Friday rejected a request by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] to lift his travel ban and allow him to go abroad for medical treatment. Instead the court issued [AP report] an arrest warrant for the former leader, although the warrant is "bailable," meaning that Musharraf can avoid jail by paying a bail sum of 2.5 million rupees (about $20,000). The court claimed [AFP report] in its decision that it did not have the authority to remove Musharraf's name from the exit control list. Musharraf has faced numerous legal troubles since his return to the nation in 2013, but it is considered an open question whether he will ever end up in court. The most serious of the cases against Musharraf is his trial for high treason, though he has failed to appear for a single court hearing thus far. On January 2 while on his way to court, he was taken to a hospital complaining of chest pains, with many speculating the move was calculated to allow him to go abroad for medical treatment.

On Thursday the Pakistan Supreme Court rejected [JURIST report] a petition by Musharraf to review its 2009 ruling [JURIST report] that his declaration of a state of emergency in 2007 was unconstitutional, the basis for the charges of treason against him. On January 9 the Islamabad Special Court demanded [JURIST report] that Musharraf attend his January 16 hearing, after having demanded [JURIST report] a medical report on January 6 and concluding that he was fit to appear. On December 23, 2013 the court rejected [JURIST report] Musharraf's contention that the treason proceedings were illegitimate and ruled that the trial would proceed as scheduled. The trial for treason is just a portion of Musharraf's legal troubles; in November, 2013 he was granted [JURIST report] bail in his trial for the "Red Mosque" killings, an operation ordered by him in 2007 that resulted in at least 100 deaths. He was arrested [JURIST report] on charges relating to those killings in October. In August 2013 Musharraf was formally charged [JURIST report] in connection with the 2007 assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary].

 

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