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Pakistan high court judge says chief justice suspension 'damaged' country

[JURIST] A justice on the Pakistani Supreme Court [official website] said Thursday that the suspension [JURIST report] of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] has damaged Pakistan, calling the resulting litigation "not a case but a crisis." Presiding Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, speaking following arguments made by lawyers for Chaudhry in his ongoing high court proceeding, also said cooperation was needed for the damage to be repaired. Since Chaudhry's March suspension for alleged abuse of office, lawyers and opposition activists have held numerous protests [JURIST report], some of which have led to violence and deaths [JURIST report]. In May, the Supreme Court removed the disciplinary case against Chaudhry [JURIST report] from the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) [governing constitutional provisions], causing a constitutional clash between the Court and the government of President Pervez Musharraf.

Earlier this month the Supreme Court maintained its jurisdiction over the legal disputes over Chaudhry's suspension [JURIST report], rejecting arguments [JURIST report] by government lawyers that the SJC's inquiry should resume. The government claims Chaudhry misused his influence [JURIST report] to obtain jobs and promotions for his son. Officials have already indicated other charges may follow [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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