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MusharrafJustice Faisal Arab, who heads the special court set up to try former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf for high treason, remains part of the court and the order calling for the ex-military strongman’s appearance March 31 stands, the court said Thursday.

After being repeatedly accused by Musharraf’s lawyers of being biased and partial, Justice Arab stormed off from Thursday’s proceedings. But he later issued a statement that he had only excused himself and not dissociated himself from the case altogether, media reported.

The special court has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Musharraf and the hearing of the case has been adjourned till March 31.

The special court has dismissed petitions against the non-bailable arrest warrant of Musharraf.

Defence lawyer Anwar Mansoor said Thursday that he was not satisfied with the way the case was being heard. He reiterated his criticism of the issuance of non-bailable arrest warrant against his client, Dawn online reported.

The court in a ruling earlier this month rejected objections to the court’s formation, the alleged bias of its judges and the procedure for the judges’ nomination.

Justice Arab left the court room Thursday saying that if the defence did not think the judges were impartial, the country had no shortage of jurists who could be asked to do the job.

Musharraf is facing charges of high treason for suspending the constitution when he declared Emergency in Pakistan in 2007.

He had taken over in a bloodless coup when he dismissed the government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999.

Musharraf resigned in 2008 as president and went into exile, and returned to Pakistan in March this year to run in parliamentary elections. However, a court disqualified him from contesting the general elections in May last year.

The court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf Jan 31 after he failed to appear at previous hearings despite several orders.


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