Pervez Musharraf gets death sentence in absentia for treason by Pak court
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president’s imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.Updated: Dec 17, 2019 15:17 IST
A special court in Pakistan hearing the high treason case against former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday sentenced him to death, a ruling that is seen as a major embarrassment to the army high command.
The case was decided by a 2:1 majority by a special bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court and Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court. The bench was formed on the orders of the Supreme Court.
The special court last month proposed to deliver its verdict on November 28 but was stopped by the Islamabad High Court.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president’s imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.
The court, in its brief order, said it had analysed complaints, records, arguments and facts in the case for three months to arrive at the conclusion that Musharraf was guilty of high treason.
Earlier, the special court hearing the high treason case against the former president had said it would announce the verdict on December 17 even if arguments of both sides were not completed by then.
The court, before announcing its verdict today, had rejected the request and directed the plaintiff to argue his case on merit. The special court had informed the plaintiff that the Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter.
The head of the prosecution, Mohammad Akram Sheikh, had resigned from the post earlier this year. In his letter sent to the interior secretary, Sheikh expressed his inability to proceed with the case after the imminent change of government at the Centre. Sheikh was appointed as the head of the prosecution in November 2013 by the then-PML-N led government.
The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014.
On March 18, 2016, the former president left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the exit control list on the orders of the Supreme Court.
A few months later, the special court declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered confiscation of his property owing to his continuous inability to appear.
Later, his passport and identity card were also cancelled on orders of the court.