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Pakistan: Musharraf told to show up in court or face arrest

ISLAMABAD, March 14 (UPI) -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf faces arrest if he fails to appear for his next hearing, a court in Islambad said Friday.

The special court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf, the New York Times reported. The court said he will be arrested and held without bail if he does not show up for a hearing March 31.

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"We will review the court decision and then decide whether to challenge it or not," Faisal Chaudhry, a member of Musharraf's defense team, said.

Another lawyer, Anwar Mansoor Khan, told the court that Musharraf would put his life at risk by coming to court. The former president has stayed away from most hearings, citing both security concerns and his health.

Musharraf is currently in the Armed Forces Cardiology Institute in Rawalpindi. The government arranged extraordinary security for Friday's court hearing, with 2,000 police officers along the route between Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where the hearing was held, the Times said.

The court is dealing with charges that Musharraf violated the constitution by declaring emergency rule in 2007. Musharraf, a former top Army officer, ruled Pakistan from 1999, when he came to power in a military coup, to 2008.

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