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Pakistan president detained, pressured Chaudhry: CJ affidavit

[JURIST] Suspended Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] Tuesday released to reporters a signed affidavit he had filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] detailing how he was detained last March against his will and personally pressured to resign his post by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website] and other military leaders. The affidavit alleges that Musharraf and other officers were in military uniform while they questioned Chaudhry and told him that if he resigned they would "accommodate him." According to the affidavit, Chaudhry told Musharraf that "I have not violated any code of conduct or any law, rule or regulation; I believe that I am myself the guardian of law."

Supreme Court Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said in court Tuesday that the panel of high court judges considering a petition by Chaudhry protesting his suspension would not be influenced by post-judgment possibilities [JURIST report] and would decide the case "on merit." Many Pakistani lawyers and opposition leaders believe Chaudhry's suspension was a bid by Musharraf to undermine judicial independence and continue his eight-year rule in an election year. The New York Times has more.

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