Musharraf sentenced to death in high treason case

ISLAMABAD:

In a first in Pakistan's history, a three-member bench of a special court on Tuesday sentenced former President Pervez Musharraf to death in the long-drawn high treason case against him.

The high treason trial of the former leader, who is currently in Dubai, for clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, had been pending since December 2013, reports Dawn news.

He was booked in the treason case in December 2013.

Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year.

However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.

The special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, had announced that it would deliver its verdict in the case on Tuesday.

However, the government's prosecutor, Advocate Ali Zia Bajwa, said that they had submitted three petitions.

One of the petitions asks that the court make three individuals - former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and former Law Minister Zahid Hamid - suspects in the case.

"We want to make Musharraf's facilitators and companions suspects as well. It it important that the trial of all suspects is held at the same time," Bajwa said.

During the hearing, Musharraf's counsel Raza Bashir also sought 15 to 20 days for his client to record a statement.

"Musharraf deserves a right to fair trial," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Lahore High Court took up Musharraf's petition against the special court hearing the high treason case against him as well as his civil miscellaneous application that urged the high court to halt the treason proceedings.