Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf wants to appear in person rather than testify through a video link in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, his lawyer has said. Musharraf has been charged with involvement in the murder of the former two-time prime minister in 2007.
Musharraf’s counsel, Advocate Akhtar Shah, during the trial proceedings of the high-profile murder case in the anti-terrorism court Rawalpindi maintained that his client was not interested in testifying through the video link, Dawn reported. He, however, said Musharraf wanted to testify in person and before an open court for which he required foolproof security from the ministry of defence. According to the counsel, Musharraf is on the hit list of several banned and terrorist outfits and facing serious life threats.
However, the federal government has already declined such a request. In a reply filed with the special court seized with the high treason case against the former military ruler, the government maintained, “An absconder cannot dictate his prerequisites to the court and give conditions, that too his own subjective satisfaction, as to when he will appear and for how long.” On May 5, Musharraf filed a similar application with the special court, seeking the military’s security and assurance from the court that he would be given a safe passage back to Dubai where he is currently living.
The Anti-Terrorism Court has summoned him and other accused persons to record their statements. The court, however, has separated the case of Musharraf and decided to record the statements of the other accused separately. Musharraf has been living in Dubai since last year when he was allowed to leave the country on pretext of medical treatment.