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Gunmen target home of lawyer for sacked Pakistan CJ

[JURIST] Pakistani police have registered a case [GeoTV report] against unidentified persons for firing at the house of Munir A. Malik, lawyer for suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, early Thursday morning. Malik told GeoTV that the gunmen shot out windows and narrowly missed his daughter when they shot into a room in which she and his son were present. Local government officials have asked Chaudhry to delay an upcoming meeting with lawyers for fear of further attacks by terrorist organizations, as they have already arrested at least 12 suspected of planning a raid on the meeting.

Chaudhry was technically made "non-functional" [JURIST report] by a March 9 order of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. No specifics were provided at the time of his suspension but documents subsequently disclosed [JURIST report] suggest he was officially removed on suspicion of misusing his influence to get his son jobs and promotions. Lawyers and opposition leaders critical of the move consider the suspension an assault on the independence of the country's judiciary and an indirect bid by Musharraf to continue his eight-year rule in an election year. Pakistan's Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) began an inquiry into Chaudhry's alleged misconduct, but the investigation was suspended [JURIST report] Monday after Chaudhry appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the SJC lacked competence to try him. The Supreme Court Tuesday created a special panel of judges [JURIST report] to hear the challenge. Reuters has more.

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