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November 18, 1999
Sharief to be formally charged
Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief will be formally charged in the conspiracy case after he is handed over to the police today, The Dawn reported quoting official sources.
The former premier, who was brought from Chaklala to Karachi by military authorities on a special Pakistan International Airlines plane, is expected to be produced before Rahmat Husain Jafri, the administrative judge for anti-terrorism courts, tomorrow. The police are required to produce an accused before a magistrate within 24 hours of formal arrest.
He faces charges of attempted murder, hijacking and criminal conspiracy which carry capital punishment under Pakistani law.
As soon as the plane landed at the Pakistan Air Force's Faisal base at midnight Wednesday, Sharief was taken to Malir cantonment. He is to be handed over to the airport police which is expected to seek Sharief's remand for further investigation.
The four other accused -- former adviser to the prime minister on Sindh, Syed Ghous Ali Shah, former PIA chairman Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former Inspector General of Police in Sindh Rana Maqbool Ahmed and former Director General Civil Aviation Authority Aminullah Chaudhry -- have already been formally arrested and remanded to police custody till November 18. Prosecution sources said the police would seek an extension of their remand.
Sharief, along with several other accused, was formally booked in a criminal case at a Karachi police station on November 10. All the accused were booked after a written report sent by Lieutenant Colonel Atiquz Zaman Kiyani -- from headquarters five corps, Karachi -- through mail, was turned into a first information report.
The case emanates from the denial of permission to land to a PIA plane that was bringing the army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, home from Colombo. About 200 other passengers also were on board.
This would be Sharief's first public appearance since the army seized power in a bloodless coup on October 12.
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