Pakistan Civilian Court Can Try Ex-President Musharraf for High Treason
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A Pakistani court ruled on Friday that a civilian court can try former military chief General Pervez Musharraf in a high treason case.
Musharraf's case will not be heard by the army act and a three- member special court has the jurisdiction to put the former military preident on trial for abrogating the constitution, the court aid said in its ruling.
The former president had challenged jurisdiction of the special court and his defense lawyers had argued that only a military court can try Musharraf under army act.
Musharraf's lawyers had earlier insisted that their client had imposed emergency when he was the army chief and that a military court can only try him under military act, Xinhua reported.
The ruling, however, said that Musharraf is now a retired man and he is no more a subject of the military laws.
The court also ruled that the military act mentioned by Musharraf defense team has already been declared null and void in 1981.
After delivering the verdict, the special court summoned Musharraf to appear on March 11 to formally indict him, lawyers said.
The court's verdict has now removed all legal obstacle for Musharraf's trial in the high treason case that would be the first ever trial of a former military chief in Pakistan's nearly 66-year history.
Legal experts say that if found guilty Musharraf could either face death penalty or life imprisonment under Pakistani laws.
Musharraf had already got bails in three high profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She was killed in a suicide bomb attack and gunshots during Musharraf's rule in Rawalpindi.