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13 Jan, 2020 12:23

Pakistani court rules special court which condemned ex-president Pervez Musharraf to death was illegal – reports

Pakistani court rules special court which condemned ex-president Pervez Musharraf to death was illegal – reports

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has declared the formation of a special court that heard the high treason case against former president, Pervez Musharraf, and handed him a death sentence was “unconstitutional,” local media reported.

The LHC also considered Musharraf's petitions against the harsh verdict, ruling that the whole case against the former leader of the country was not prepared in accordance with the law.

An 86-page petition, filed to Lahore High Court (LHC) by Musharraf's legal team in December last year, stated that the verdict against the former president “contained a mix of anomalies and contradictory statements,” as quoted by local media.

Also on rt.com Pakistani military chief says Musharraf judgement ‘transgresses humanity, religion & culture,’ prompting lawyers’ condemnation

Pakistani outlet Dawn News reported that now, according to the lawyers involved in the case, Musharraf’s death sentence will be considered invalid after the formation of the special court is proclaimed illegal.

“The Lahore High Court has nullified the decision about Pervez Musharraf,” Azhar Siddique, Musharraf's lawyer, told Reuters.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death in absentia on charges of high treason and undermining the constitution by a special court in December last year. The verdict sparked huge public debate and outrage-bordering-criticism from the government, particularly due to a provision by one of the judges that if Musharraf dies before being executed, his corpse should be hanged for three days in front of the parliament building in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

Also on rt.com Pakistan govt seeks to oust ‘mentally unfit’ judge who ordered Musharraf’s corpse ‘be hanged for 3 days’

A controversial figure in Pakistan, Musharraf was general and army chief when he seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999. The treason charges against him stem from his decision to impose a state of emergency in 2007 as he sought reelection as president.

While his supporters view him as a defender of Pakistani interests who stood up to Islamist militants and championed progressive causes such as women's rights, critics accuse him of opening the country to CIA counter-terrorism drone operations. They also suggest Musharraf may have facilitated the assassination of his political opponent, Benazir Bhutto, in 2007 – an allegation the former president firmly denies.

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