Pakistan’s Musharraf in Court for Treason

Former military ruler is the first army chief to be put on trial in civilian court

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© Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

A car carrying former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, drives past members of the media as he leaves the court

Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf appeared in court Wednesday under tight security to answer charges of high treason.

The 70-year-old is accused of unlawfully suspending Pakistan’s constitution, instituting emergency rule and restricting the judiciary in 2007 in order to extend his presidency. If found guilty, he faces death penalty, reports the BBC. Musharraf claims that all the accusations are politically motivated.

There are no set procedures as there are no precedents in the case; Musharraf is the first Pakistani to face charges of high treason and the first former army chief to be tried in a civilian court. (His legal team is arguing that the proceedings should be transferred to a military institution.)

The court will decide on Friday whether it has the legal jurisdiction to try a former army chief. Musharraf ruled Pakistan from 2001-2008.

[BBC News]