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Setting up special court to try Musharraf challenged

Islamabad, Dec 17 (IANS) An appeal was submitted Tuesday in the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan against the formation of a special court to try former president Pervez Musharraf for treason.

Riaz Hanif Rahi, a member of the Punjab Bar Council, filed the appeal which said the special court was formed in violation of the constitution and the law. It made the law and interior ministries, the special court's registrar and the director general of Federal Investigative Agency parties in the case, the Dawn reported.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar announced Nov 18 that the government under Article 6 of the constitution would initiate a treason trial against the former army chief.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan last month accepted the government's request to form a special tribunal to try Musharraf.

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court's Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi also disposed of a petition challenging the formation of the special court for Musharraf's trial Dec 4.

The special court summoned Musharraf to appear before it Dec 24, the date of the next hearing.

Five charges of high treason, including unlawfully subverting the constitution, have been levelled against Musharraf.

The 11-page document was handed over by Interior Secretary Shahid Khan to Abdul Ghani Soomro, registrar of the special court Dec 12 for the trial of the former military ruler.

It is the first time in Pakistan's 66-year history that a former military leader will be tried for high treason for subverting constitution.

Update: 17-December-2013