Pakistan: Court declares Musharraf fugitive

Pakistan: Court declares Musharraf fugitive

KARACHI-Anadolu Agency
Pakistan: Court declares Musharraf fugitive

A Pakistani court that sentenced to death the country's former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday for high treason has issued its detailed judgment in the case.

The 167-page verdict released on Dec. 19 directed law enforcing agencies to nab the "fugitive" who is seeking medical treatment in United Arab Emirates and has failed to appear in court despite repeated summons in the high profile case which has dragged on for six years.

This is the first time in Pakistan's history that a military chief has been declared guilty of high treason and been given the death sentence.

Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, the head of the three-member bench, in his remarks said if the former army chief is found dead "his corpse be dragged to the D-chowk [square], Islamabad, and be hanged for 03 days."

However, other judges disagreed with the part about parading his body in a public square.

The special court in Islamabad convicted Musharraf with a 2-1 majority for imposing emergency in 2007, subverting the constitution, and putting judges under house arrest.

"The trial of high treason is the requirement of the Constitution against those individuals who undermine or attempt to undermine the Constitution by any means. This court after presentation of undeniable, irrefutable and unimpeachable evidence by the prosecution against the accused reaches to the conclusion that indeed the accused is guilty and deserves exemplary punishment," the judgment read.

"The convict be hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge," the verdict added.

Musharraf has termed the judgment "suspicious" and a scheme of his opponents.

“This is an unprecedented case in which neither the defendant nor his lawyer was allowed to defend the case,” Musharraf alleged in a video statement from his hospital bed in Dubai.

He is currently undergoing treatment for several health conditions, including cardiac problem.

His lawyer Salman Safdar vowed to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

In March 2014, Musharraf was charged with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007.

In August 2017, he was declared an "absconder" by Pakistan's anti-terrorism court in the verdict on the 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto, a two-time prime minister.

Musharraf -- a former four-star general -- ran the country as president from 2001 until tendering his resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008.