Special court issues detailed verdict in Musharraf high treason case

Special court issues detailed verdict in Musharraf high treason case

Islamabad (Web Desk): The special court on Thursday issued a detailed verdict of the high treason case against former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

According to reports, a copy of the detailed verdict has been handed to an official of the Ministry of Interior.

On Tuesday, the three-member bench of the special court had found former president Musharraf guilty over high treason and handed him a death sentence under Article 6 of the Constitution.

The three-member special court headed by Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Waqar Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court (LHC) announced the verdict it had reserved on November 19.

The court had announce to issue a detailed judgment on Thursday (Today).

Two out of the three judges were in favour of capital punishment.

The 167-page verdict has been authored by Justice Waqar Seth. The decision includes a dissenting note by Justice Akbar.

Justice Seth and Justice Karim said that the evidence presented had proved that he committed a crime.

Justice Karim concurred with the findings and punishment with the exception of paragraph 66 which mentions "dragging the body to D-Chowk".

The verdict says, "It is patent by the act and conduct of the accused facing trial that he has persistently and stubbornly strived ever since the commencement of this trial, to delay, retract and in fact evade it. It has been his plea throughout that either on account of ill health or for security hazards he could not reach up to this Court to face trial".

"If for a moment it is presumed that military high command including core commanders were not involved then why they failed to defend and protect the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan , 1973 by not restraining a man in uniform […] the then Corps Commanders Committee in addition to all other uniformed officers who were guarding him each and every time, with boots on, are equally and fully involved in the act and deeds of the accused person,” the verdict says.

"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.

"As a necessary corollary to what has been observed we find the accused guilty as per charge. The convict be hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge," the judgement says.

"We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days.

"Indeed, this portion of the judgement and execution is nowhere defined but since it is first impression cases and the sentence of death is announced in his absence after declaring the convict as proclaimed offender therefore the sentence is supposed to be executed.

“It would be in the interest of justice that all those involved (if any) in facilitation of the escape of the fugitive accused may also be brought in the net of due course of law and their criminal acts (if any) may be investigated and tried in accordance with law.”

Soon after the short order was issued on Tuesday, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the special court verdict in the Pervez Musharraf treason case has been received with “alot of pain and anguish within the rank and file of Pakistan armed forces”.

The government had also expressed its reservations over the verdict.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had said that fair trial is right of every citizen of the state as per the article 10 (A) of the constitution but Pervez Musharaf was convicted in absentia.

He had said that the government will not oppose an appeal against the special court’s verdict.

Pervez Musharraf was charged with abrogating the Constitution twice, and a special court was constituted by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif to try the former military ruler was for high treason.

He was booked in the treason case in December 2013. The former president 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.