Some 2,000 people gathered outside the court complex in Islamabad. A panel of fellow judges there has been hearing charges that Mr Chaudhry abused his office. Correspondents say the removal of Mr Chaudhry is being seen as an attempt by Gen Musharraf to stifle judicial independence in an election year. Mr Chaudhry has a reputation for judicial activism in cases that have caused embarrassment to the government.

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