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Musharraf can record statement through Skype in treason case, says Pak court

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Absconding former Pakistani dictator can record his statement through as it is vital to the ongoing treason case against him, a special court ruled on Tuesday.

Gen. (retd) Musharraf, 75, who has been living in since 2016, is facing the treason case for suspending the Constitution in 2007. The former left for in March 2016 for medical treatment and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.

During Tuesday's hearing, of the Lahore High Court said former president's statement could be recorded on Skype, Dawn newspaper reported.

"Can a 342 statement [statement of the accused] be recorded over " Justice Ali asked.

"The court had recorded Mark Siegel's testimony in the Benazir Bhutto murder case on Skype," Musharraf's said.

But he said that he would have to ask his client if he wished to provide his statement over

"It is not that the defendant does not wish to appear in court, it is that he is unable to be here because of his health," he added.

"My client is a 75-year-old sick man," he said.

In response, Justice said that "had assured us that he would return". Musharraf's explained that the former is not returning at this point.

The said that Musharraf's presence in court is vital. He said that is an absconder and should surrender to the court, and that his statement could not be recorded until that happens.

Musharraf's absence has complicated the ongoing treason trial being conducted against him in a special court, said.

After refused to issue a red notice for his return to the country, had ordered that security should be provided to Musharraf so he can travel to and record his statement in the ongoing treason case against him.

If Musharraf returns voluntarily, he may be able to do so respectably otherwise he may be compelled to return under circumstances which are not "graceful", the top warned on October 2.

Last month, the Pakistani media published a photo of Musharraf, also of the All Muslim League, watching a cricket match during the Asia Cup in the (UAE).

The court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing till October 15.

The has ordered to hear the Musharraf treason case on a daily basis from October 9.

A conviction for high treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Musharraf, who ruled from 1999 to 2008, has been declared a fugitive in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case and the Red Mosque killing case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 18:50 IST