Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan issues new arrest warrant

  • 31 January 2014
  • From the section Asia
Pervez Musharraf on 29 December 2013
Image caption Security and health concerns have prevented Mr Musharraf from attending earlier hearings in this treason case

A Pakistani court has issued an arrest warrant for ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf, rejecting his plea to go abroad for medical treatment.

Mr Musharraf has been in hospital ever since suffering chest pains on the way to his treason trial on 2 January.

Prosecutors argued his medical condition was not serious enough for him to avoid appearing before judges

Mr Musharraf says all the accusations against him are politically motivated.

The warrant issued is "bailable", which means he could avoid arrest if he files a bail application on time.

He is the first former military ruler to face trial for treason in Pakistan, which has a history of army rule. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Mr Musharraf, who governed Pakistan from 1999 until 2008, also faces separate charges of murder and restricting the judiciary.

The treason charges relate to his decision in 2007 to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule.

He has been at the military-run Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi since he was admitted on his way to a treason hearing.

Security concerns prevented him attending earlier hearings.

Correspondents say many people have viewed reports of his illness with scepticism, as they did the security scares which his defence team say have prevented him from appearing in court.

But his lawyers argued that he needed to go abroad because no modern support system was available in the country to perform procedures related to heart diseases.

A medical report issued by AFIC physicians recently said he needed an angiography.

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