UK & World News

  • 2 January 2014, 8:45

Pakistan's Musharraf 'Rushed To Hospital'

Ex-president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has been rushed to hospital with a heart problem, according to the AFP news agency.

Pakistan's former military ruler was taken to hospital while on his way to court for a hearing in his trial for treason, police and an aide said.

The 70-year-old had been summoned to the special tribunal after failing to show up for two previous sessions due to security threats against him.

Jan Mohammad, a senior police official told the court in Islamabad that Musharraf had fallen ill while being transported to the hearing under heavy security.

"He has been shifted to Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology after he got heart problem," Mohammad said.

An aide to Musharraf, who is facing a series of criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, said the retired general was in "bad shape".

Meanwhile, Musharraf's lawyers walked out of court this morning, complaining they were being threatened and harassed by the government.

Anwar Mansoor Khan, one of the lawyers, told the court he had been unable to sleep the previous night due to someone banging on his door.

"I was under total threat," he told the court. "From 1.00 am to five in the morning. Someone was banging on my door and ringing my bell."

When asked who was threatening him, Khan answered: "This very government."

"This never happened in my 40 years of practice. I will walk out," Khan said; which he did.

Khan has earlier told the court he had been attacked in his car while travelling to the eastern city of Lahore following an earlier hearing.

Musharraf's lawyers have previously claimed the treason case is an attempt by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf ousted in a coup in 1999, to settle old scores through the courts.

The treason allegations follow a series of criminal cases faced by Musharraf since he returned to Pakistan in a failed bid to run in last May's general election.

The charges include murder, over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Musharraf appeared briefly in court in August 2013 were he denied the charges.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.