Newspaper article International New York Times

Some in Pakistan See a Way out for Musharraf ; Court Panel to Rule on Whether Hearings Can Go on without Defendant

Newspaper article International New York Times

Some in Pakistan See a Way out for Musharraf ; Court Panel to Rule on Whether Hearings Can Go on without Defendant

Article excerpt

A special court panel has been shown a medical report on the former Pakistani ruler Pervez Musharraf to determine whether he can be excused from attending treason proceedings against him.

A special court panel has been shown a medical report on the former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and has begun to determine whether he can be excused from attending treason proceedings against him. He was rushed to a military hospital for what was described as a sudden heart problem last week.

The deliberations over Mr. Musharraf's health raised speculation that some sort of deal to allow him to leave the country might be underway. Some analysts have speculated that the country's powerful military establishment would quietly prefer to see him return to exile rather than face the public embarrassment of a former army chief on trial in a case that could potentially bring a death penalty.

Since the opening of treason proceedings against him on Dec. 24, all four attempts to bring Mr. Musharraf to a court hearing have been derailed, including twice when the police reported finding explosives hidden along his route to the hearings.

On Jan. 2, his convoy veered away from the court venue almost immediately upon arriving. Officials said that he had complained of heart trouble, and he is under treatment at the army hospital in Rawalpindi.

A copy of the medical report summary that was made available Tuesday seemed to show little sign of medical trouble serious enough to require treatment abroad. Military doctors said complaints by Mr. Musharraf, who is 70, of pain in his chest and left arm subsided soon after he was admitted to the hospital, and they listed several minor conditions that seemed to be dogging him, including an enlarged prostate, dental troubles, tendinitis and high cholesterol. Still, they found signs of some degree of arterial disease and said further tests would be needed to see whether he should have some sort of bypass procedure. …

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