Court Thrown Out Death Penalty For ex-Pakistan President Musharraf

Court Thrown Out Death Penalty For ex-Pakistan President Musharraf

Jan. 14, 2020, 6:39 a.m.

A court in Pakistan has overturned the death sentence handed down to former president Pervez Musharraf by declaring the legal process unconstitutional.

Gen Musharraf had challenged the formation of special court which found him guilty of treason last December.

On Monday, the Lahore High Court sided with the exiled general, who seized power in a 1999 coup and was president from 2001 to 2008.

The decision meant Gen Musharraf was "a free man", one prosecutor said.

In November 2007, Gen Musharraf suspended the constitution and imposed emergency rule - a move which sparked protests. He resigned in 2008 to avoid the threat of impeachment.

When Nawaz Sharif - an old rival whom he deposed in the 1999 coup - was elected prime minister in 2013, he initiated a treason trial against Gen Musharraf and in March 2014 the former general was charged for high treason.

General Musharraf argued the case was politically motivated and that the actions he took in 2007 were agreed by the government and cabinet. But his arguments were turned down by the courts and he was accused of acting illegally.

According to the Pakistani constitution, anyone convicted of high treason could face the death penalty. Gen Musharraf travelled to Dubai in 2016 after a travel ban was lifted and he has refused to appear before the court, despite multiple orders.

The three-member bench had reserved its verdict in the long-running case last month, but was stopped from announcing it by a petition filed by the federal government to the Islamabad High Court.

Credit: BBC

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