A three-judge Bench of a special court in Pakistan handed over the death penalty to Pakistan’s former President Parvez Musharraf on December 17 for suspending Constitution and imposing emergency in the country in 2007.
The Bench headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth gave the ruling in the long-drawn high treason case against Pervez Musharraf which was initiated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, a punishable offence for which he was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. But due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator had lingered on.
Musharaf, Pakistan’s military ruler from 2001 to 2008, has been living in exile in Dubai since March 2016 after he left Pakistan for medical treatment. 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 had challenged the special court verdict and sought suspension of his trial in his absence. He asked the Lahore High Court to suspend the special court’s reserved verdict until he is healthy enough to appear before the court.
He pleaded not guilty and has always claimed that the charges against him are politically motivated. He is the first military ruler to recieve the death penalty.
The former Pakistan President was declared an absconder as he failed to appear in court despite repeated summons and the court issued a directive to the country’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest him.