The special court trying former President General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf for high treason on Thursday allowed an application from the defence to have access to the joint investigation report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and all other relevant documents.

In its order, the court directed the prosecutor to file by May 14, 2014 copies of all statements of all the persons that were recorded during the course of the investigation, whether they were intended to be produced as prosecution witnesses or not, and the gist of evidence of all the witnesses likely to be adduced at the trial, and copies of all documents collected during the course of the investigation which have any nexus with the alleged crime.

The court also said that a copy of the Joint Investigation Report inclusive of any separate note if recorded by any member of the team must also be filed in court. The defence had contended in its arguments that there was a dissenting note by one investigator who had stated that a single person cannot be tried for the offence.

The order said the copies of all such documents shall be delivered to the defence counsel on the same day- May 14. The process of recording evidence of the prosecution witness shall commence on May 22 so that the defence counsel may have a clear seven days to examine the documents and prepare his case, as per law.

The defence in its application, the first of which has been allowed by the special court, had demanded that the names of all the co accused who aided and abetted with the accused in the promulgation of emergency order of November 3, 2007 be supplied and process be issued to them and they be tried jointly. It also demanded the investigation report based on which the case of high treason was filed and said the names of all those who were questioned in the course of the FIA investigation should also be made available in the interests of a fair trial.

The order said the prosecution had neither claimed immunity nor any secrecy with respect to any material that was collected during the investigation. The right to a fair trial is associated with the right of access to justice, the court held. It said that disclosure of all material having nexus with the alleged crime when demanded by the defence becomes a legal obligation and its withholding a breach, while issuing directions to the prosecution to furnish all relevant material.

Defence lawyer Faisal Hussain said it was the constitutional right of the accused to get all the material evidence and the court had agreed with the defence contention.