High treason case: Pervez Musharraf challenges special court verdict in LHC
ISLAMABAD – Former president and top military official Pervez Musharraf on Friday has challenged special court’s treason case verdict in Lahore High Court (LHC).
According to details, the ex-president adopted the stance that the decision was announced in hurry as a case against the formation of special court is already under hearing in LHC.
Our religion, constitution and law don’t allow to disrespect corpses. Fair and transparent trial is right of everyone, he added.
The former military official further requested the court to issue orders to stop implementation on the sentence by nullifying paragraph 66 of the verdict.
Special court sentences Pervez Musharraf to death in high treason case
Earlier on December 17, special court in Islamabad had sentenced former president and top military official Pervez Musharraf to death in high treason case.
Justice Nazar Akbar opposed the verdict of sentencing Pervez Musharraf to death and cleared him of the accusations while Justice Waqar Seth and Justice Shahid Karim handed him the death penalty.
“We are of the considered view that the accused in this High Treason case has been afforded more than his due share of fair trial. The protected trial of a constitutional and not any ordinary offence that began six years ago in 2013, has yet to see its end in 2019. The accused, who has been given every opportunity to defend himself, has by his conduct in the proceedings only evinced his utter contempt for the law and legal institutions in this country. The facts of this case are well documented. The documents clearly demonstrate the guilt on the part of the accused. It proves beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt all the charges of High Treason leveled against accused by the State.
“It is patent by the act and conduct of the accused facing trial, that he has persistently and stubbornly strived ever since the commencement of this trial, to delay, retract and in fact evade it. It has been his plea throughout that either on account of ill health or for security hazards he could not reach up to this Court to face trial.
“As a necessary corollary to what has been observed we find the accused guilty as per charge. The convict be therefore hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge.
“We direct the Law Enforcement Agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days.”
Treason case: Timeline
The ex-president is facing treason trial under Article 6 of the Constitution as well as Section 2 of the High Treason Act for imposing emergency in the country on November 3, 2007 that also resulted in the suspension of 61 judges of the superior judiciary, including then Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
On November 29, 2007, retired general Pervez Musharraf took oath as a civilian president and lifted the emergency, revoked the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and restored a Constitution amended on November 15, 2007.
On August 18, 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned as president after a nine-year rule in the country. On July 22, 2009, Supreme Court had summoned him to defend his action regarding emergence while on July 31, 2009, the apex court had declared Musharraf‘s decision to impose an emergency and PCO as illegal and unconstitutional.
The ex-president refused to respond to the court and departed for United Kingdom after which, his companions launched a political party “All Pakistan Muslim League (APML)” and made him its chairman.
On March 23, 2013, Musharraf returned Pakistan on pre-homecoming protective bail for 10 days to participate in the general elections.
On April 8, 2013, SC had summoned ex-military ruler in the treason case and directed the interior ministry to include his name in the Exit Control List (ECL). On November 18, 2013, then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry had established special court for the trial of Musharraf. However, on December 12, 2013, the tribunal called him for proceedings of treason case.
On March 30, 2014, the special court had indicted former president but on March 18, 2016, he left for Dubai to “seek medical treatment”. On May 11, 2016, special court had declared Musharraf an absconder as he did not return after getting bail in the treason case.
On June 7, 2018, SC had allowed Musharraf to contest elections on the condition to appear before the court but on August 29, 2018, the special court was told that Interpol had refused to issue red warrants for ex-president’s repatriation from UAE.
On October 8, 2019, special court had decided to hear the case on the daily basis.
On November 19, 2019, the court had concluded the case and reserved the verdict for announcement on November 28 but on November 23, 2019, Musharraf challenged special court‘s move in Lahore High Court while a plea from interior ministry was also filed in Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Chief Justice Athar Manallah stated that there were unique, unusual and unprecedented circumstances in the case.
Moreover, the special court said that it will announce the verdict of high treason case against Pervez Musharraf on December 17.
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