Ex-Pak President Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death by special court for high treason
Musharraf, who had left Pakistan soon after he stepped down as President in 2008, exited the country a second time in March 2016 for “medical treatment”. He was declared an absconder in this case.Updated: Dec 17, 2019 15:28 IST
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was on Tuesday sentenced to death for high treason by a special court. He is the first former military ruler to have been tried and convicted for treason.
The case, along with a bunch of others, was filed against him in 2013 after his return to Pakistan from four years of self-imposed exile to run for parliament to “save” the troubled nuclear-armed state. In this, he faced charges for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of Pakistan’s superior courts.
Musharraf, who had left Pakistan soon after he stepped down as President in 2008, exited the country a second time in March 2016 for “medical treatment”. He was declared an absconder in this case.
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Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. But the trial lingered on.
The special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, had announced that it would deliver its verdict in the case on Tuesday.
However, the government’s prosecutor, Advocate Ali Zia Bajwa, said that they had submitted three petitions. One of the petitions asks that the court make three individuals - former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and former Law Minister Zahid Hamid - suspects in the case.
“We want to make Musharraf’s facilitators and companions suspects as well. It is important that the trial of all suspects is held at the same time,” Bajwa said, according to news agency IANS.
During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Raza Bashir also sought 15 to 20 days for his client to record a statement.
“Musharraf deserves a right to a fair trial,” he said.