The prosecution alleged that Musharraf, 70, was trying to delay the trial and he had filed 21 applications since December last year to prolong the matter.

The application by the prosecution, filed on Wednesday, said the accused was indicted on March 31 but the court had neither proceeded to consider the evidence that might be submitted in support of the prosecution nor specified a time frame.

The prosecution said, it appeared from Musharraf's conduct that his interest was in delaying the start of the evidence stage and ultimately frustrating the culmination of the trial.

While rightly keeping in mind the right of the accused to a fair trial, the court had been embroiled for the past four months in hearing the applications filed by the defence, the Dawn daily quoted the application as saying.

"However, the defence is overstepping the indulgence shown by this special court," the application said.

The application said it was a settled proposition that an accused in a case should be punished or acquitted expeditiously.

It said the accused had had adequate time and facilities for preparing his defence and there was no other compelling reason for deferring the recording of the prosecution's evidence.

The prosecution requested the court to begin recording the evidence and statements of the witnesses against the former president.

Musharraf, who is currently in Karachi, was indicted by the court on March 31. He has refuted all charges against him.

Since returning to Pakistan from self-exile in March last year, Musharraf has faced prosecution in four major cases, including the high treason case, his alleged involvement in the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007, and the 2006 killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti.

Musharraf was indicted on March 31 in the treason trial for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.

The former army chief, who is the first military ruler in Pakistan's history to be tried in court, has rejected all the charges levelled against him.


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