ISLAMABAD: The special court on Tuesday awarded the death sentence to former military dictator General retired Pervez Musharraf after he was found guilty in the high treason case.
The three-member bench of the special court headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar and Justice Shahid Karim announced the verdict. The verdict was split 2-1.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former army chief has been declared guilty of high treason and handed the death sentence. Musharraf is currently in Dubai where he was admitted to a hospital after his health deteriorated earlier this month.
The high treason trial related to the imposition of a state of emergency on November 3, 2007 and placing several judges of the superior judiciary under house arrest.
The punishment for high treason is death or lifetime imprisonment, according to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973. Musharraf’s legal team can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court.
Read more: Musharraf challenges court’s verdict in high treason case
Musharraf was charged in the treason case in December 2013 and indicted on March 31, 2014. The trial of lingered on as Musharraf left Pakistan in March 2016 to seek medical treatment and has not returned ever since.
The verdict announced by the special court was reserved on November 19. The special court had said it would announce the verdict on November 28. However, the incumbent government filed a petition to stop the final verdict.
The IHC stopped the special court from issuing its verdict reserved and directed the government to notify a prosecution team by December 5. Eventually the special court decided to announce the verdict of the high treason case on December 17.
Earlier today, a counsel of Musharraf submitted a petition in the special court requesting to form a judicial commission which can visit the UAE and record his statement under section 342.
The presiding judge expressed his displeasure and said the case hearing was fixed for final arguments when these new petitions were submitted. He added that the stage of investigation and evidence has already passed.
The court had given two weeks for submitting an amended charge sheet. The detailed judgment will be released after 48 hours.
General retired Pervez Musharraf was booked in a treason case in December 2013. He was indicted on 31st March 2014 in the case of suspending the Constitution by proclamation of emergency on 3rd November 2007.