Pakistani court orders confiscation of Musharraf’s assets

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Islamabad, July 19 (IANS) A Pakistani court on Tuesday ordered confiscation of all the bank accounts and properties of former President Pervez Musharraf for not appearing in a high treason case, lawyer said.

The court, in a hearing of the high treason case against Musharraf, instructed the banks to freeze all his accounts, and asked the revenue departments to confiscate assets of the former President, Xinhua news agency reported.

Musharraf’s lawyer Faisal Chaudhry said the former president had gifted all his assets to his wife and daughter and the gifted assets could not be confiscated. He will challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

The court rejected the prosecution’s request to continue the hearing in the absence of the accused.

Musharraf, who had gone to the UAE for treatment in March 2016, is still living there.

Prosecution lawyer Akram Sheikh suggested to the court to record Musharraf’s statement through video conferencing. Musharraf has neither been admitted in hospital nor has he any health problem, the lawyer said.

The case will not be heard unless Musharraf is arrested and produced before the court, the court said.

Musharraf, who stepped down in 2008, is the first military ruler in Pakistan’s history to be tried for high treason, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to legal experts.

His imposition of emergency rule and suspension of the Constitution in 2007 are viewed as treason.

Weeks after assuming office for the third time, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had in June 2013 informed parliament about the filing of high treason charges against Musharraf.

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