Pak's Musharraf challenges special court's verdict

Demonstrators carry pictures of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, during a protest following a special court's verdict, in Karachi. (AFP Photo)

Pakistan's former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Friday filed a petition in a court against the special court's verdict convicting him of high treason and sentencing him to death, according to media reports.

Last week, the special court in Islamabad sentenced 76-year-old Musharraf to death in absentia for high treason following a six-year legal case.

The 86 page-long petition, filed by Advocate Azhar Siddique in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday on Musharraf's behalf, named the federal government and others as respondents, Dawn News reported.

The petition highlighted that the "judgement contained a mix of anomalies and contradictory statements". It added that the special court "rapidly and hurriedly wrapped up the trial which was far from a conclusion", the report said.

The petition stated that the special court "has not taken into consideration that no actions detrimental to national interest were taken by the applicant" as "no offence of high treason is made out from the evidence presented against him (Musharraf) before the special court".

The full bench, chaired by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, will hear the petition on January 9, 2020.

The former president has prayed to the high court to suspend the decision, the Express Tribune reported.

Musharraf had earlier moved the LHC against the constitution of the special court.

He filed an application in the LHC, urging it to halt the special court from sentencing him in absentia.

Three days after he had filed the petition, Musharraf, who is currently in Dubai where he is seeking treatment for multiple diseases, was handed the death penalty by the special court in Islamabad after the three-member bench convicted him in the treason case.

Musharraf suspended the Constitution in 2007 and announce emergency which under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan is an act of treason punishable with death.

He is the first military ruler to receive capital punishment in Pakistan's history. His sentencing was highly significant in Pakistan where the powerful military has ruled the country for nearly half of its 72-year history.

He came to power in 1999 by toppling the government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ruled until 2008. He has 30 days to file an appeal in the apex court.

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