Court rejects Musharraf's objection to treason trial

Islamabad, Dec 23 : The Islamabad High Court Monday rejected a petition by former president Pervez Musharraf challenging his trial for high treason in a special court.

The special court in Islamabad is set to initiate formal proceedings against Musharraf for abrogating the constitution when he imposed an emergency in 2007, Xinhua reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month approved the selection of three judges for the special court, which has summoned Musharraf to appear Tuesday.

Musharraf had challenged in the Islamabad High Court the formation of the special court, nomination of its judges by the prime minister and a special prosecutor.

His lawyers argued that the former military ruler had imposed emergency as the army chief and that he should be charged under army's law and tried in a military court.

However, High Court judge Riaz Muhammad Khan rejected the petition and ruled that the special court was under the law and it can initiate the trial.

In June, Sharif had announced that Musharraf would be tried for high treason in his speech to the National Assembly.

It will be the first time in Pakistan's 66-year history that a former military leader will be tried for high treason.

In a separate ruling, the Sindh High Court Monday said it cannot remove the name of Pervez Musharraf from a list of people barred from leaving the country and asked the former president to approach the government.

Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup when he dismissed the government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999. He was the president from 2001 to 2008, when he stepped down and went on to live in London in self-exile.

He returned to Islamabad in March this year to take part in parliamentary elections. However, a court disqualified him from contesting the polls.

The former army chief stays at his farmhouse in Islamabad after he got bail in three high profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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