Citing India, right to appeal sought in Pakistan

July 19th, 2011 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, July 19 (IANS) Two former soldiers and four civilians sentenced to death for trying to assassinate then Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf have moved the Supreme Court, asking it to direct the government to give them a right to appeal against the military court ruling.

Their lawyers said they should get at least one opportunity to appeal against the decision of the army tribunal, either before the Supreme Court or before an independent military tribunal as is done in India, Dawn reported Tuesday.

The six were sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial in 2005 for two assassination attempts on Musharraf. They moved the Supreme Court here Monday.

Advocate Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry filed separate petitions on behalf of Arshad Mehmood, formerly of the Pakistan Army, and Nawazish Ali, a former chief technician in the Pakistan Air Force, and civilians Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti, Zubair Ahmad, Mushtaq Ahmad and Ikhlas Ahmad.

They were arrested for their alleged role in suicide attacks on Musharraf Dec 14, 2003 at Jhanda Chichi Bridge in Rawalpindi and Dec 25, 2003 in front of a petrol pump, also near Jhanda Chichi.

After the in-camera hearing, the Field General Court Martial awarded death sentences in July 2005 to the ex-servicemen and civilians under the Army Act, 1952. This was confirmed by the vice chief of the army staff.

The petitioners have pleaded before the apex court to recommend to the government to amend the Army Act, Pakistan Air Force Act of 1953 and the Pakistan Naval Ordinance of 1961 so that they can appeal against the military ruling.

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