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Clashes Continue as Demonstrators Protest Suspension of Pakistan's Chief Justice

Pakistani activists demonstrating against the suspension of the nation's chief justice clashed again Saturday with police, capping off a week of violent protests.

Officers fired tear gas at stone-throwing activists and lawyers protesting the ouster of chief Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry outside the high court in the eastern city of Lahore.

Supporters of the chief justice have been holding daily protests since President Pervez Musharraf pulled Chaudhry from the bench last week on unspecified allegations of abuse of power.

Pakistani officials say authorities have lifted restrictions on Chaudhry, who had been confined to his home since last week.

Officials say the chief justice is now free to leave his house and receive visitors.

Meanwhile, officials say 14 police officers have been suspended in connection with a raid Friday on a private television station that has covered the controversy.

General Musharraf apologized to Geo Television Friday in a live telephone interview with the station.

He said police involved in the raid had acted on their own.

The raid came one day after Geo Television said government regulators ordered its flagship daily news program, "Today with Kamran Khan" (Aaj Kamran Khan Key Saath), off the air because of its coverage of the growing controversy.

Justice Chaudhry has now appeared twice before a judicial accountability panel to face allegations of misuse of authority. Judges adjourned the hearing until March 21st.

Chaudhry has ruled several times against the Pakistani government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.