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Pakistan court orders Musharraf investigated for detaining judges

[JURIST] A Pakistani court on Monday directed police to open an investigation into allegations that former president Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive] illegally detained 60 members of the judiciary after declaring emergency rule [proclamation, PDF] in November 2007. The order [APP report] was issued by Islamabad District and Sessions Judge Akmal Raza in response to a complaint filed by lawyer Aslam Ghuman. Ghuman claims that Musharraf illegally confined more than 60 judges [PTI report], including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [official profile; JURIST news archive], to their homes, causing widespread protests from the Pakistani legal community. This is the first court-ordered police investigation against Musharraf, who is currently in London and could eventually face treason charges.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] declared [judgment, PDF] that Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule violated the Constitution of Pakistan [text]. Musharraf resigned from office [JURIST report] last August in order to avoid impeachment proceedings by the country's parliament. Earlier that month, the country's coalition government said that it would push to impeach Musharraf because he had given a "clear commitment" to step down from office after his party was defeated in parliamentary elections [JURIST reports]. In June 2008, former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] called for Musharraf to be tried for treason [JURIST report], labeling him a traitor disloyal to Pakistan and saying he should be punished for the "damage" that he had done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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