Pakistan formally begins high treason trial of Musharraf

    By IANS,

    Islamabad: Pakistan Sunday announced to have formally started high treason proceedings against the former president Pervez Musharraf and will approach the country’s top court to form a judicial commission.

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    Musharraf, 69, in a bloodless coup, had sacked the elected government of the prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 and also suspended the constitution when he declared emergency in 2007, Xinhua reported.

    Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Sunday Musharraf would be tried for high treason for subverting the constitution twice.

    “The government will approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday and will request the Chief Justice to constitute a three- member judicial commission for the high treason trial,” Khan told a news conference here.

    He said that an inquiry report prepared by a team of the Federal Investigation Agency will be presented in the apex court. The team had questioned Musharraf as to why he had dismissed the elected government and in what circumstances had he imposed emergency.

    Legal experts are of the view that if Musharraf is convicted of high treason, he could face a possible death sentence or life imprisonment.

    In June, Sharif had announced high treason trial of Pervez Musharraf in his speech to the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, less than three weeks after returning as premier following his PML-N party’s victory in the General Election.

    Musharraf’s actions came under the purview of “high treason”, Sharif had told the Parliament.

    The former army chief, currently lives in his farmhouse in Islamabad after he got bails in three high profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.