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Pakistan court extends Musharraf's remand by 14 days

Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturday ordered former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to remain in custody for a further two weeks ahead of his trial for unlawfully sacking judges during his rule, officials said.

"Pervez Musharraf's remand is extended for judicial lock-up for 14 days, he should be presented before the court on May 18," Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi, ordered.

Police had asked the judge to grant the custodial extension saying the investigation into Musharraf's activities was still under way.

Lawyers for Musharraf, who is locked in his own home, which has been declared a sub-jail while he is awaiting trial, filed a bail application in the court and the judge fixed a hearing for May 6.

The court was also asked if Musharraf's trial could be held inside his plush villa, citing security reasons, but the matter was left pending.

"It has been brought into my notice that the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad issued a notification for the jail trial, but approval from Islamabad high court is needed in this regard," the judge said.

Musharraf was placed in police custody at his home following his arrest on April 19, in an unprecedented move against a former army chief of staff ahead of key elections.

He was arrested for making a decision to sack judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007 -- a move that hastened his downfall.

He also faces charges of conspiracy to murder opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and over the death of a rebel leader during a 2006 military operation.

The retired general has been humiliated since returning in March from self-imposed exile to contest elections.

However, his party on Friday announced it will boycott next week's historic election after a court on Tuesday banned him from standing for the rest of his life.

The May 11 polls for the national and regional assemblies mark the first time that a civilian government completes a full-term and hands over to another at the ballot box, in a country that has been ruled by the military for half its life.

 

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