ISLAMABAD (AP) — A lawyer representing Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf in his high treason trial said Thursday that his client needs to go to the U.S. for further medical treatment following a heart scare.
The development is the latest twist in a series of legal cases Musharraf has faced since returning to Pakistan nearly a year ago. It came as the retired general failed yet again to appear in court.
The lawyer, Anwar Mansoor Khan, submitted a letter to the court from a doctor at the Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas. The letter, signed by the Director of Interventional Cardiology at the Texas center, Arjumand Hashmi, asked that Musharraf be transferred to the hospital.
Musharraf is currently a patient at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, just outside of the capital, Islamabad. He was taken there after suffering a "heart problem" on the way to court Jan. 2 after failing to appear at previous proceedings.
The judges ruled last week that Musharraf was to appear in court Thursday, but he did not attend the hearing. His lawyers said Musharraf is still not well.
The court now has decided to obtain a medical report from doctors at the Rawalpindi hospital to determine how precarious Musharraf's condition is, said Abdul Ghani Soomro, the court registrar.
Musharraf's repeated failure to appear in court and his admission to the hospital has led to speculation that he'll leave the country under the guise of seeking medical treatment abroad.
The high treason case stems from Musharraf's 2007 decision to impose a state of emergency and detain a number of judges.
Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup and ruled until he was forced to step down in 2008. He later left the country.