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Pakistan treason court summons Musharraf on Feb 18 Ex-president not required to attend Feb 10 hearing

ISLAMABAD, Feb 7, (AFP): A court trying Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason Friday ordered him to appear on Feb 18, the latest postponement in the long-delayed case. The 70-year-old is facing treason charges, which can carry the death penalty, over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007 while he was president. He was first ordered before the tribunal on Dec 24 but has yet to put in an appearance, with bomb scares and health problems keeping him away.

The former general has been in a military hospital since falling ill with heart trouble while travelling to court on Jan 2. On Jan 31 the court refused to grant him permission to go abroad for medical treatment and ordered him to appear on Friday.

But at Friday’s hearing Judge Faisal Arab accepted a request from Musharraf’s lawyers that he be excused until Feb 18. The next hearing in the case will be on Feb 10, but Musharraf is not required to attend. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the man Musharraf ousted from power in his 1999 coup, and his lawyers have said the treason case is an attempt to settle old scores through the courts.

They have also challenged the civilian court’s right to try a former army chief, saying he is entitled to be dealt with by a military tribuna

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