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Pakistan's Supreme Court Hears Legal Challenge in Chaudhry Case

Pakistan's Supreme Court convened Tuesday to hear a legal challenge mounted by the nation's suspended chief justice.

Lawyers representing Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry are contesting the legality of his suspension by President Pervez Musharraf for alleged misconduct.

The attorneys also said that Chaudhry was summoned to army offices in March ahead of his suspension. They say he was held against his will and pressured to resign from office.

Chaudhry's lawyers said that a Supreme Court official who was killed at his home on Monday was targeted because of his links to the Chaudhry case. Justice Chaudhry hired the victim, Syed Hamid Raza, to work at the Supreme Court in 2005.

Supreme Court officials said they had taken note of the murder. Police initially said Raza was killed in a robbery attempt.

Chaudhry's suspension has sparked outrage among Pakistan's judiciary and opposition parties. It triggered a series of nationwide protests and a widespread backlash against General Musharraf.

Forty people were killed in fierce street clashes between pro and anti-government political activists in Karachi Saturday and Sunday. The violence forced activists to abandon rallies on Saturday.

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