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Musharraf arrested, grilled at his farmhouse 'sub jail'

Last updated on: April 19, 2013 14:38 IST

Musharraf arrested, grilled at his farmhouse 'sub jail'

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Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was on Friday arrested in a case relating to the imposition of emergency rule in 2007 and was presented before judicial magistrate Muhammad Abbas Shah, who remanded him to police custody and directed authorities to produce him before anti-terrorism court in two days.

The police officials had informed the magistrate that they did not need physical custody of Musharraf and that he could be placed in judicial custody. However, lawyers for several persons who have filed petitions against Musharraf for imposing emergency in 2007 and detaining over 60 members of the superior judiciary contended that he should kept in police custody.

They also questioned why Musharraf had not been handcuffed by police after his arrest.

Musharraf's lawyer Qamar Afzal argued that his client should be kept in judicial custody as there were serious threats to his life. The magistrate reserved his verdict in the matter and Musharraf left the court complex after waiting for some time for a decision.

A police team visited Musharraf's farmhouse, declared a 'sub-jail' by authorities, and questioned him about the detention of more than 60 judges during the emergency of 2007.

The five-member police team led by SP Sardar Sadaqat Ali Khan visited Musharraf's farmhouse at Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad at 11 am.

The team recorded Musharraf's statement and his response to charges levelled against him in the case that led to his arrest on Friday morning.

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The arrest came a day after the Islamabad High Court ordered the arrest of Musharraf for not cooperating with police officials investigating a case registered against him for detaining dozens of judges, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, during the 2007 emergency.

However, immediately after Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui revoked his pre-arrest bail and ordered police to detain him, Musharraf and his security detail fled from the Islamabad High Court complex and drove to his farmhouse.

In a related development, the Law Ministry issued a notification for setting up an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad.

District and sessions judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi was given additional charge of this court, officials told the media.

It is expected that the new anti-terrorism court will handle Musharraf's case.

The federal capital does not have any anti-terrorism courts and all terrorism cases are usually referred to courts in Rawalpindi.

However, Musharraf described the allegations against him as "politically motivated" and said he would fight them in court.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, he said the high court's order for his arrest was "unwarranted".

"The allegations levelled against me in the detention of judges case could not be further from the truth and were filed against me by an unrelated individual eight months after the alleged act; not even one of the alleged aggrieved judges is the petitioner," Musharraf said.

"These allegations are politically motivated and I will fight them in the trial court, where the truth will eventually prevail."

Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League party too sought to put a positive spin on today's dramatic developments and claimed the former army chief had "surrendered" to police.




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