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In a First in Pak History, Special Court Hands Death Penalty to Pervez Musharraf in Treason Case

File image of Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

File image of Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Pervez Musharraf is accused of unlawfully suspending the constitution and instituting emergency rule in 2007.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: December 17, 2019, 1:05 PM IST
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In a first, a three-member bench of the special court of Pakistan, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, on Tuesday handed former military ruler Pervez Musharraf death sentence in the treason case against him, The Dawn reported.

The former Army chief left for Dubai for medical treatment in March 2016 and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.

The special court comprising Justice Seth, Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court announced the verdict it had reserved on November 19, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Musharraf is accused of unlawfully suspending the constitution and instituting emergency rule in 2007.

He pleaded not guilty and has always claimed that the charges against him are politically motivated. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

President from 2001 to 2008, he was one of Pakistan's longest-serving rulers.

He went into self-imposed exile in 2008, returning to Pakistan in March 2013.

He had hoped to lead his party into elections, but was disqualified from standing and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power.

The high treason trial of the former leader has been pending since December 2013 when he was booked in the case. He was indicted on March 31, 2014 and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year.

However, due to litigation at appellate forums, Musharraf's trial lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016 "to seek medical treatment." The former Pakistan President was then declared an absconder as he failed to appear in court despite repeated summons and the court issued a directive to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest him.
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