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Pak lawyers protest suspension of judge

Lawyers were on protest to show solidarity with suspended Chief Justice Iftikar M Chaudry.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2007 13:56 IST

Hundreds of lawyers and opposition party activists on Friday staged demonstrations outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad to show solidarity with suspended Chief Justice Iftikar M Chaudry as he attended the hearing on the misconduct charges against him.

Lawyers from different parts of the county as well as activists of opposition parties like moderate Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) and Islamist Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA) gathered in large numbers around the apex court where the government has deployed security forces in large numbers.

Crowds mobbed Chaudhry as he came to attend the trial by the Supreme Judicial Council headed by Acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas. An hour after the hearing started, MMA President Qazi Hussain Ahmed was quoted by television channels as saying that the SJC has agreed to Chaudhry's demand for an open trial.

However, there was no official word on the development.

Ahead of today's hearing, opposition parties alleged large scale preventive arrests from different parts of the country.

Chaudhry, who was suspended by President Pervez Musharraf on March 9 on changes of misconduct and misuse of power, has questioned the composition of the SJC and demanded an open trial.

First Published: Apr 13, 2007 13:50 IST