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Saturday , January 23 2021

Pakistan court sentences former President Pervez Musharraf to death

ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 (KUNA) — A three-member bench of the special court in federal capital Islamabad on Tuesday handed death sentence to former president and military ruler of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case against him.

The special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, handed Musharraf the death sentence in the long-drawn high treason case against him. The trial of high treason case against Musharraf for imposing the state of emergency on November 3, 2007 in the country was pending since December 2013. Musharraf was charged with abrogating the Constitution twice, and a special court was constituted by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif to try Musharraf for high treason.
The trial was delayed and the former army chief was allowed by the courts as well as the government to leave Pakistan in March 2016. The 76-year-old former military ruler had left for Dubai for medical treatment and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.

Two out of the three judges were in favor of capital punishment where a detailed judgment will be issued in the next two days. This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief has been declared guilty of high treason and handed the death sentence.

Earlier during the hearing, government’s prosecution team wanted to amend the indictment against the former military ruler and also frame charges against former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, Abdul Hamid Dogar, and former law minister Zahid Hamid as well.

However, the bench remarked that the Supreme Court had already decided on the matter and gave the government two weeks to submit a new charge sheet. It said that the government should file a new complaint if it wanted to add additional names in the high treason trial. During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel, Raza Bashir also sought 15 to 20 days for his client to record a statement under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code. “Musharraf deserves a right to fair trial,” he said.

The judiciary noted that the former army chief had been provided six opportunities to record a statement but he failed to appear. The court was expected to announce verdict today that was reserved on November 19 and was originally fixed to be announced on November 28.

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