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Justice Faisal Arab recuses himself from Musharraf treason hearing

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ISLAMABAD: The treason trial against former president Pervez Musharraf took an unusual turn on Thursday when head judge of the Special Court Justice Faisal Arab recused himself from the case after his bench was repeatedly accused of not being neutral, Express News reported. 

HunzaNews March 27 th, 2014.

Musharraf’s lawyers have multiple times accused Arab’s three-member bench of biasness and had also called for removal of Akram Sheikh as state prosecutor. The court had reserved its decision on Sheikh’s appointment on March 26.

During today’s hearing, the former president’s lawyers said that Sheikh should not be allowed to speak on the case until the court announces its decision regarding his appointment.

Responding to this demand, Arab said the prosecutor will be allowed to speak in court, to which Musharraf’s advocates reiterated that they were not happy with the Special Court bench and that it was not neutral.

“The Special Court had already issued an order that this bench will try Musharraf and that decision should be respected,” Arab said.

Arab then said that if the lawyers think the bench was not neutral, he will separate himself from the bench. The head judge walked out of the courtroom after these statements and was followed by the other members of the bench.

Musharraf’s advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri said “[Musharraf’s lawyers] very politely said that we are not comfortable with these proceedings.”

“Reacting emotionally, Justice Arab said that he cannot carry on with these proceedings if the defence lawyers are not happy,” Kasuri told media in Islamabad.

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