Beleaguered former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's bail plea in the judges' detention case was today rejected by an anti-terrorism court, even as another court ordered his release in the 2007 Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
Before rejecting the bail, anti-terrorism court judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi had reserved the ruling on Musharraf's bail application during the hearing of the case.
During the hearing, public prosecutor Amir Nadeem Tabish said clause 780-A pertaining to terrorism had been added to the list of charges against 69-year-old Musharraf, making the case against him even more strong.
In his arguments, Tabish said that judges and their family members had been detained in their homes for months and that the charges against the former army strongman were of a serious nature, who therefore should not be granted bail.
He further said that the emergency imposed by Musharraf in the country on November 3, 2007, was detrimental not only towards the judges but for the public at large.
However, Musharraf's counsel Ilyas Siddiqui argued that there was no evidence against his client and requested the court to grant the bail application, the Dawn News reported.
Tabish told the judge that he had been appointed public prosecutor in the case only until the court's ruling on Musharraf's bail plea, adding that he had no authority to present a charge sheet in the case.
The judge expressed his amazement and asked as to how it could be that one public prosecutor was appointed for Musharraf's bail plea and another to present charges against him.
Subsequently, the judge inquired of the investigation officer as to when would the charge sheet against the former military ruler be finalised. The officer said that three institutions had been approached in this respect, however, all had so far failed to submit their responses.
The court reserved its ruling on the bail plea after the parties concluded their arguments and subsequently discarded the former president's application.
Meanwhile, another court ordered Musharraf's release in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, the Express Tribune reported.
The court had granted bail to Musharraf in the case on May 20.
The release order came after the payment of two surety bonds worth Rs 1 million each.
Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007. Musharraf has been accused of providing inadequate security to Bhutto.
Musharraf, who is currently being held at his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad, was arrested shortly after he returned to Pakistan in March from self-exile to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League party in the May 11 general elections.
He was subsequently barred by a court from contesting polls for the rest of his life.
Besides the Bhutto assassination case and the judges detention case during the 2007 emergency, Musharraf has been arrested for the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.