A special Pakistani court on Tuesday said it will announce its verdict in the high treason case against former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on November 28. The previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against the ex-army chief Musharraf in 2013 over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in 2007.
A three-member tribunal headed by Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth conducted the hearing in the case on Musharraf clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007. After reserving the judgement on Tuesday, the court announced that the verdict would be given on November 28. It also directed the counsel of Musharraf to submit final argument if any by November 26, Dawn News reported.
Musharraf is said to be living in the UAE. If convicted, Musharraf, 76, may face death sentence. Musharraf became Pakistan's first army chief to be charged with treason when he was indicted on March 31, 2014. He pleaded not guilty to five charges and dismissed them as being politically motivated, The Express Tribune reported.
The hearing in the high-profile case was stalled after Musharraf left for Dubai in 2016. Musharraf left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment on March 18, 2016 with a commitment to come back. He managed to go abroad after his name was removed from the no-fly list or Exit Control List on the orders of the Supreme Court.
A few months later, however, the special court declared him a "proclaimed offender" and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show at the hearings. He has repeatedly refused to return to Pakistan citing security reasons. His lawyer Akhar Shah said that the former president could not appear in person due to security reasons.
He also said that Musharraf's health was not good and was not allowed by the doctors in Dubai to travel. Musharraf seized power in 1999 by toppling the government of prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ruled until 2008 when he was forced to step down.
In October this year, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government de-notified the prosecution team which was hired in December 2013 by the PML-N government. Noted lawyer Akram Sheikh was heading the prosecution team. He resigned soon after the PTI's victory in the 2018 general elections and the remaining team members were sacked this year, the Express Tribune reported.
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