Pervez Musharraf faces arrest on treason charges because of his decision to detain dozens of judges illegally in 2007 while he was in power. However, the former Pakistani dictator escaped arrest after his guards shielded him from officers outside the Islamabad courthouse.
Musharraf staged a coup in 1999 and seized power while he was army chief. He was forced out after almost 10 years in power. After leaving the country for four years, he went back to Pakistan last month to participate in elections there.
Musharraf was granted bail on the case involving the judges and two other cases, which meant he couldn’t be arrested when he arrived back in the country. That bail agreement was only temporary, and it had been extended one time on April 12, but the judge refused today to extend it again and instead ordered Pervez Musharraf’s arrest. Officers didn’t try to arrest him until he was outside the courthouse, according to the BBC.
The dramatic escape scene was filmed by local television stations. Pervez Musharraf leaped into a black SUV and drove away from police. The Huffington Post reports that his vehicle sped off toward his massive compound on the edge of the city. The heavily guarded compound is surrounded by high walls topped with razor wire and guard towers overlooking it.
The Washington Post reports that Musharraf is now holed up inside his compound as police and soldiers block the main road and hold the crowd back. At this point the security officers guarding his compound haven’t tried to arrest him, probably because they’re waiting to find out what senior officials say about it.