Former dictator Pervez Musharraf has refused to undergo an angiography in Pakistan and wants to go abroad for treatment, media reports today quoted a medical board as saying in a report submitted to a special court.
Though the board's report was presented to the court in a sealed cover, details of it were leaked and reported by several news channels. Express News, which said it obtained the report, quoted it as saying that Musharraf's health is such that a heart attack could be "life-threatening".
The medical board was set up by the special court, which is conducting Musharraf's treason trial, to assess the 70-year-old former military ruler's health condition after he was admitted to hospital on January 2 with heart problems.
The court said the medical board's report will be subjected to cross-examination on January 29, following which it will announce its decision on Musharraf's appearance for hearings.
The report stated Musharraf was unwilling to get an angiography done in Pakistan as the cardiac support system in the country is "not up to standard", Express News reported.
The government's prosecutor, Akram Sheikh, objected to the findings in the report, which was submitted by the four-member medical board headed by Maj General Syed Imran Majeed.
Musharraf's lawyer Anwar Mansoor requested the court to keep the report secret. However, the prosecutor said Musharraf is a public figure and the report should be made public. He said the Constitution includes a provision for a free press.
Sheikh demanded that another medical board, comprising cardiologists of Aga Khan Hospital, PIMS Hospital and Shifa International Hospital, should be formed to review the report.
He further said the report's findings seemed to imply that all heart patients should be sent abroad for treatment.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, a key member of Musharraf's legal team, accused Sheikh of hosting an event for the media to turn them against him. He claimed another medical report on Musharraf had also been made public and was available on the website of a news channel.
The three-judge special court subsequently adjourned proceedings till January 29.
Musharraf faces treason charges for abrogating the Constitution and imposing an emergency in November 2007.