So far and what's next
- Musharraf has been on trial for subverting the Constitution by promulgating state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.
- Musharraf is currently living in Dubai. His team can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court.
- Musharraf is suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body.
Dubai: Former Pakistan Army Chief and ex-president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf has been given the death penalty in a treason case by a special court in Pakistan.
This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that a former army chief has been handed the death sentence. The special court order is subject to appeal.
A three-member bench of the special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, on Tuesday handed former military ruler Pervez Musharraf the death sentence.
Musharraf has been living in Dubai and London since 2016 after he was allowed to travel on medical grounds. He never went back despite court orders and was also earlier put on the list of most wanted people.
Musharraf was booked in the treason case in December 2013 for imposing a state of emergency on November 03, 2007 suspending the constitution of Pakistan. He 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.
Although the special court — comprising Justice Seth, Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC — had announced that it would deliver its verdict in the case today, the government’s prosecutor, Advocate Ali Zia Bajwa, said that they had submitted three petitions today.
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. The prosecutor said that according to a 2014 petition, Shaukat Aziz had told Musharraf to impose emergency.
What is the treason case
Musharraf has been on trial for subverting the Constitution by promulgating state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007. According to Article 6 of the 1973 Constitution, any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.
And a person found guilty of high treason as defined in Article 6 of the Constitution, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life.
The verdict announced by the special court today was the one it had reserved on November 19. The special court at that time had said it would announce the verdict on Nov 28 on the basis of available record. However, days before the final verdict was to be announced, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government sought deferment of the announcement of the verdict and in a fresh petition, requested the Islamabad High Court that “the special court be restrained from passing final judgement in the trial”.
On November 27, the IHC stopped the special court from issuing its verdict reserved in the case on November 19. Additionally, they directed the government to notify a prosecution team by December 5.
On December 5, the new prosecution team for the government appeared before the special court after which the special court adjourned proceedings till December 17, adding that it would hear arguments and announce the verdict on the same day. The special court was reformed six times during the course of the case.
The former army chief General Musharraf is currently living in Dubai. His team can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court. If the top court upholds the special court's verdict, the president possesses the constitutional authority under Article 45 to pardon a death row defendant
Musharraf's counsel Advocate Raza Bashir said he had submitted a request to record his client's statement via Section 342 of the CrPC, adding that his client should be given the right to a fair trial. "Musharraf should get a right to defend," said Bashir. Musharraf's counsel said his client's health was not well enough for him to appear before the court.
Why Musharraf is hospitalized frequently
Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body. Musharraf showed symptoms of the disease in October 2018.
The treatment of amyloidosis is not possible in Pakistan and that is why he is staying in Dubai. Amyloidosis is a serious health problem that can lead to life-threatening organ failure.
Amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, and there are different types of amyloid. Amyloidosis frequently affects the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and digestive tract.