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Pakistan attorney general: Parliament can approve trial of Musharraf
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20:17, August 03, 2009

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Pakistani parliament could approve the trial of former President Pervez Musharraf by a simple majority resolution for his Nov. 3, 2007 acts, the Attorney General for Pakistan Sardar Latif Khan Khosa said on Monday.

Talking to reporters after oath taking ceremony of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, the attorney general said that if a resolution for conducting trial of the former president was moved in the parliament and after its approval, the government was bound to act upon the decision of the Parliament which was the supreme law-making body.

About the ordinances, promulgated after Nov. 3, 2007 the attorney general said that the law committee of the parliament would thoroughly look into the matter and would decide which were in the public interest. A total of 37 ordinances had been promulgated between Nov. 3, and Dec. 15, 2007, which had been referred to the parliament.

Pakistan's Supreme Court declared Friday that the emergency rule imposed by Musharraf in 2007 as "unconstitutional." The verdict said that sacking of the judges was illegal and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court termed the steps taken on Nov.3, 2007 as null and void.

Barrister Ali Saif, legal aide for Musharraf said that the former president will fight legal battle if he was charged in courts, according to the local News Network International.

The court last week had served notice on Musharraf who is now in London to appear either in person or by his counsel before the court on Wednesday to defend his position on the imposition of martial law on Nov. 3, 2007, making over 60 judges non-functional, but no lawyers were present to defend the ex-army chief as the Supreme Court hearing resumed.

The Supreme Court observed on Thursday that though the apex court could rule on the constitutionality of the actions of Musharraf, it could not initiate treason proceedings against him on its own.

The bench observed that the power to try the former president for treason and other crimes lay with parliament. But legal experts say that Musharraf can now be tried in treason charges as his actions were declared as unconstitutional.

On Nov. 3, 2007, Musharraf issued a proclamation of emergency, suspended the Constitution and promulgated a Provisional Constitution Order (PCO). Dozens of judges declined to take oath under the PCO and were sacked. The emergency rule was withdrawn on Dec. 15, 2007.

Source: Xinhua



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