Pakistan court annuls Musharaff's death sentence

13 Janvier, 2020, 19:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Judges say special court in Musharraf case was unconstitutional

The LHC had earlier reserved its verdict in the petition filed by the former military ruler challenging the formation of a special court in a high treason case that had handed him the death penalty in December a year ago.

"Gen Musharraf is a free man now", he added.

Last month, a special court sentenced Musharraf to death.

"The Lahore High Court has declared unconstitutional all actions right from initiation of complaint and its conclusion against General (retd.) Musharraf by the special court", Additional Attorney General of Pakistan Ishtiaq A Khan told PTI.

That death sentence has now been overturned, after the High Court ruled high treason is an offense which can not be committed by a single person.

Musharraf's lawyer also said the sentence had been revoked. The case was filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in 2013. It relates to Gen Musharraf's suspension of the constitution in 2007, when he declared an emergency in a move meant to extend his tenure. It proves beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt all the charges of High Treason leveled against accused by the State.

After Monday's ruling, the special court's verdict stands void, Dawn reported, quoting both the government and Musharraf's lawyers as saying.

It caused a wave of controversy, with Musharraf - exiled in Dubai - slamming it as a "vendetta" and the military expressing its disappointment.

In it's ruling on a petition filed by Musharraf, a three-member bench of the LHC also ruled that the treason case that had been filed against the military dictator was not prepared according to legal requirements.

On April 8, 2013, SC had summoned ex-military ruler in the treason case and directed the interior ministry to include his name in the Exit Control List (ECL).

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The High Court declared the formation of a special bench in the case as "unconstitutional".

Zafar had maintained that whenever Article 6 mandated that a case be filed against a high-ranking official, the federal cabinet was endowed with the authority to have the final say on the issue.

A controversial figure in Pakistan, Musharraf was general and army chief when he seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999.

He became a key ally for the United States in its "war on terror" after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001 and escaped several assassination attempts.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 26, 2017.

His leadership faced no serious challenges until he tried to purge the nation's judiciary and avoid a legal challenge to his rule in March 2007.

After the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the national mood soured further, and he was left isolated by the crushing losses suffered by his allies in February 2008 elections.

He finally resigned in August 2008 in the face of impeachment proceedings by the new governing coalition and went into exile.

On November 29, 2007, retired general Pervez Musharraf took oath as a civilian president and lifted the emergency, revoked the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and restored a Constitution amended on November 15, 2007.

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