Pervez Musharraf fled a courtroom in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday after a judge ordered the former military dictator's arrest.
Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui revoked Musharraf's bail for charges he detained judges illegally in 2007 - when he declared a state of emergency - and called for the former leader's arrest.
"Musharraf and his security detail pushed through a large crowd outside the Islamabad High Court after the hearing, then sped away in a convoy of S.U.V.s as lawyers chased behind, shouting insults," The New York Times reported from Islamabad.
Musharraf returned to his walled villa in the city. The judge reportedly ordered police to answer for their failure to arrest him.
CNN reports Musharraf was placed under house arrest Thursday, citing a spokeswoman for the ex-general. Pakistan's interim minister of information, Arif Nizami, said Thursday the government was legally required to implement the court's order within 24 hours.
Reuters quoted Musharraf spokesman Mohammad Amjad as saying an appeal would be filed Friday with the country's Supreme Court seeking to have the arrest warrant nullified. Musharraf was "composed and in good spirits," Amjad said.
"We expect this unwarranted judicial activism, seemingly motivated by personal vendettas... will cease and the Supreme Court, without prejudice, will immediately grant necessary relief," Musharaff's office said in a statement quoted by AFP.
Pakistani politicians opposed to Musharraf were outraged that he was not arrested at the courthouse Thursday.
"Confining Musharraf to his residence will be against the norms of justice. He needs to be arrested. Let us take this step for once and take it now," said one senator quoted by Pakistan Today. "Musharraf is a usurper who twice abrogated the constitution," said another senator urging his arrest.
Musharraf, a general who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, returned to the country in March from self-imposed exile abroad. He intended to run in the country's May 11 parliamentary election, but on Tuesday Peshawar's high court disqualified him from running after lawyers pointed to Musharraf's suspension of the country's constitution and procedural flaws in his nomination, The Associated Press reported. Efforts by Musharraf to seek election in other parts of the country have also been rejected.
During Musharraf's reign Pakistan accepted billions of dollars in U.S. aid and was an important American ally during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent years of anti-Taliban warfare. Lawyers are currently arguing before Pakistan's Supreme Court that Musharraf should be tried for treason for disregarding the country's constitution. He is also fighting a charge of failing to adequately protect former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007.
If past is prologue, Musharraf had good reason to flee. In 1979 Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged after a politically contentious murder trial. The BBC says Bhutto "was known as an autocratic leader but was respected internationally."