Lahore high court agrees to stop verdict in high treason case of Musharraf

Lahore: The Lahore high court on Tuesday accepted a petition to hear the plea from the ailing former military ruler Pervez Musharraf  seeking to stop the special court from announcing its reserved verdict in the high treason case against him on Thursday, according to media reports. Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore high court removed its objections and admitted Dubai-based Musharraf's petition for hearing, the Dawn News reported.

The Lahore high court also sought replies from the federal government and the ministry of interior by November 28.

A separate petition was also filed by the interior ministry in the Islamabad high court to stop the special tribunal from issuing its verdict in the treason case against Musharraf.

On Monday Justice Naqvi had directed Musharraf's lawyer Khwaja Ahmed to give arguments regarding the maintainability of the petition.
The Lahore high court had questioned whether the plea falls under its jurisdiction as the 76-year-old former president is a resident of Islamabad, the Geo News reported.

The court had also said that the case is with the Supreme Court and under the circumstances the petitioner should reach out to the apex court.

The special court had on November 19 concluded the trial proceedings in the high treason case against Musharraf for declaring a state of emergency in 2007 and had ruled that a verdict would be announced on November 28.

Musharraf, who is living in Dubai in self-exile, challenged the special court verdict in the Lahore high court on Saturday and sought suspension of his trial in absentia.

If found guilty, Musharraf could be sentenced to death.

The petitioner said that since Musharraf was not present in the country, the tribunal should be asked to wait until he got well and came back to face the trial.

According to Pakistani media reports, Musharraf suffers from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by the build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues in the body, and is under medication.

Musharraf's counsel contended that the reserving of the verdict on November 19 was "unconstitutional and void".

The high treason case against the former military dictator has been pending since December 2013. He was indicted on March 31, 2014.
The tribunal headed by Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth reserved the judgment on November 19 by announcing that it would be announced on November 28.

The high treason case launched in December 2013 is about the declaration of emergency in the country by Musharraf in 2007 when he was president.

He suspended the Constitution, which according to article 6 of the Constitution was an act of high treason.
Musharraf was indicted in 2014 but the case had made slow progress by the time he was allowed to go out of Pakistan in 2016 for medical treatment in Dubai. He never came back and the case was stalled.
But the Supreme Court earlier this year ordered the tribunal to prosecute him even if he failed to come back.

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