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8 Pervez attack officers face fresh trial

Islamabad, Dec. 18: Eight former Pakistan army and air force officers, earlier convicted by a military court over their involvement in the 2003 suicide attack on former President Pervez Musharraf are likely to face a fresh trial in a civilian court.

The Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi has been awaiting a response from the Punjab home department to initiate the trial in this regard, the local English language newspaper The Express Tribune said Tuesday.

Seven of the convicts were handed down the death penalty by a Field General Court Marshal FGCM in 2004 for their role in the twin attacks on the official convoy of President Musharraf near his army house on December 25, 2003, killing 15 people mostly passersby.

The army court had rejected their appeals against the convictions, saying that they could not get any relief from the superior judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

The men - Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti, Arshad Mehmood, Ikhlas Ahmed, Zubair Ahmed, Rana Naveed, Amir Sabeel and Adnan and Rashid Ali - have been shifted to Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail from different prisons, after the police sought permission for a jail trial after submitting investigation report against them.

Prosecution has argued that the men were tried and convicted for mutiny and waging war against the army and could be tried for terrorism, murder and use of explosives.

Earlier, the ATC had acquitted a woman, Shazia Mubashir, after her lawyers maintained she was earlier tried by a military court and was acquitted in the same case and could not be tried again.

The next date of hearing for the case is set for December 20, when it will be determined whether the convicts can be tried in the jail or not.

Musharraf, who came to power in October 1999 after toppling former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government, resigned in August 2008 after being pushed to wall by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan Peoples Party, which came to power after parliamentary elections in February the same year.

The former president, who formed his own faction of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and plans to return home soon, lives in a self-exile in London and Dubai.

 
 
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