Court reserves verdict in Musharraf treason case

Updated November 19, 2019

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A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday reserved the verdict in the treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — AP/File
A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday reserved the verdict in the treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — AP/File

A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday reserved its verdict in the high treason case against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Heading a three-member bench, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth asked where Musharraf's lawyer was. He was informed by a special registrar of the court that the lawyer was gone to perform Umrah.

Following this, Justice Seth said that the former president's lawyer had been given a third chance to submit his arguments today.

The proceedings were briefly adjourned, after which the court said that the verdict in the case will be announced on November 28. Additionally, the court said that Musharraf's counsel could submit written arguments by November 26.

The interior secretary appeared before the court today after he was summoned in the previous hearing on October 24.

Prior to the brief adjournment in today's proceedings, Justice Seth asked whether the court's permission had been sought before removing the prosecution team, in response to which Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, said that following the change in government head of the prosecution Akram Sheikh had tendered his resignation.

On October 24, the court was informed that the government had sacked the entire prosecution team engaged by the previous PML-N government to prosecute the high treason case against Musharraf.

Justice Shahid Karim told DAG Bhatti that the court had summoned the interior secretary today, so he should let him speak. Justice Nazar Akbar added that the attorney general's office had no role in this case. The court then removed the deputy attorney general from the rostrum.

Justice Seth said that the prosecution team had submitted their written arguments which was enough for the court.

The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.

He was booked in the treason case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.