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Pakistani Court Orders Arrest of Pervez Musharraf

Aired April 18, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to NEWS STREAM on CNN. Now this hour we are following two major stories out of the United States. Several people are dead, dozens are injured after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas.

And investigators pinpoint two men considered possible suspects in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing. For more, we take you to our sister network, CNN USA.


STOUT: And that was our report on network CNN USA with the latest on the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings. And earlier the latest on that huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. And we'll keep you up to date on both stories right here on CNN.

But next here on NEWS STREAM, hopes for a political comeback will have to wait as a court orders the arrest of former Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf.





STOUT (voice-over): Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Now a Pakistani court has ordered the arrest of former President Pervez Musharraf after it rejected his application for a bail extension earlier on Thursday.

And this was the scene outside the court after the hearing. Now the former president's security detail hurried him out to a black car. And Musharraf went to his private compound on the outskirts of Islamabad. Local footage later showed police entering that compound.

The former president is accused of illegally detaining senior judges during an emergency rule he imposed six years ago.

Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, joins us now from a bureau in Islamabad. And Nic, is Pervez Musharraf likely to be arrested? And if so, what are the options for police in terms of arrest?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is no historical precedent here that a former chief of army staff has ever been arrested before. But the way the situation stands right now, it's still fast-paced and it's still changing.

We have, for example, at the moment, the minister of interior meeting with senior officials because we've heard earlier in the day from the police force here that they wouldn't arrest Musharraf without an instruction from the ministry of interior, i.e., a government decision.

That is despite the fact the judge in the high court called for Musharraf's arrest; the same judge in the high court has also called that the inspector general of the police attend the high court tomorrow to explain why his officers didn't arrest Musharraf today.

Musharraf's lawyers have said that they will appeal this ruling by the high court. They tried to do that at the Supreme Court today. They arrived there with their petition, with their appeal, too late in the day. So the Supreme Court refused to take that appeal.

However, Musharraf's lawyers say they will go back again to the Supreme Court on Friday to lodge that appeal. So it's very much up in the air. It has been fast-paced. It is still moving and changing here, Kristie.

STOUT: It's up in the air there in Pakistan, Musharraf faces arrest, he faces a number of legal challenges. He also faces death threats from the Pakistani Taliban. So why did he return? I mean, what it a complete miscalculation on his part?

ROBERTSON: You know, it does begin to look like a miscalculation now. There are plenty of people here that really felt Musharraf was yesterday's man, if you will, that the ground support for him was very limited. That wasn't his impression.

He came back, expecting there to be widespread support. He has faced a really tough time with the electoral commission here, who have barred him from the full constituencies that he wanted to run for. So he has come back and he is not now able to run for any of the seats that he wanted to run for in the parliament.

So essentially he is out of the elections. He is still appealing. And he believes that those judges, that those electoral commission rulings have been unfair. And he has faced in the courts on numerous charges a case of treason for suspending the constitution, these charges in the high court today in Islamabad for arresting or putting under house detentions judges.

There is another court appearance coming up soon, allegations of him involved in the killing of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister here. And the judges in these cases have been taking very hard lines against him.

So the appearance is that it is a miscalculation because his comeback to a very, very unfavorable situation where now he is almost essentially under confinement in his house and has been barred by the Supreme Court from leaving the country. By anyone's stretch, that doesn't -- that isn't what he was aiming for, Kristie.

STOUT: All right, Nic Robertson with the very latest, live from Islamabad for us, thank you, Nic.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM right here on CNN. And still ahead, we'll take you back to Texas for more on that massive fertilizer plant explosion that has devastated an entire community.




I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM on CNN and we're continuing to follow the aftermath of a massive fertilizer plant fire and explosion in Texas.

And for more, we take you back to our sister network, CNN USA.