Pakistan’s former dictator Pervez Musharraf was today sentenced to death in a case of treason for subverting the Constitution.
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.
A three-member bench of a special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, found the ailing 76-year-old former Army chief guilty of high treason and handed him the death sentence.
Before issuing the verdict, the court rejected a plea by the prosecutors to delay the verdict.
Musharraf is currently living in Dubai on self-exile. The former Army chief left for Dubai for medical treatment in March 2016 and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.
His indictment for treason was a highly significant moment in a country where the powerful military has held sway for much of its independent history.
Musharraf seized power by ousting then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a 1999 bloodless coup. He has also served as Pakistan’s president from 2001 to 2008. He was sentenced for suspending the Constitution and imposing extra-constitutional emergency in 2007.
In a video statement from his hospital bed, Musharraf called the treason case absolutely baseless. His legal team can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court. If the top court upholds the special court’s verdict, the President of Pakistan possesses the constitutional authority under Article 45 to pardon a death row defendant.
Source: News On Air