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Pakistani Lawyers Protest Over Suspension of Supreme Court's Top Judge

  • VOA News

Pakistani riot police have clashed with lawyers holding demonstrations across the country against the suspension of the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

About 20 people were injured in the eastern city of Lahore, where police used batons to break up lawyers rallying outside the Lahore High Court. Lawyers also boycotted court proceedings, holding demonstrations instead in the capital, Islamabad, and in the coastal city of Karachi.

The protests were organized following Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's controversial decision on Friday to suspend chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudry.

The government has not yet released details of evidence against the judge. But charges are believed to stem from alleged financial wrongdoing.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says the matter will be decided by the country's Supreme Judicial Council and that all action taken against the judge was entirely constitutional.

But angry lawyers say the move against Mr. Chaudry violates the independence of Pakistan's judiciary.

Chaudry has recently pressured the Pakistani government for information on the whereabouts of more than 140 missing people, allegedly being held by the Pakistani intelligence agencies.

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