Pakistan: Islamabad High Court stops announcement of verdict in Musharraf's high treason case

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 27, 2019, 05.56 PM (IST)

Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday stopped the special court from announcing verdict in the high treason case against former President General Pervez Musharraf.
The IHC's order comes a day before the special court was scheduled to announce the verdict on the basis of the available record, Dawn reported

The IHC was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan government seeking an adjournment of the verdict's announcement. A similar petition was also filed by Musharraf in the Lahore High Court.

"For reasons to be recorded later, we allow writ petition filed by the Ministry of Interior," the court said in its short order.

The IHC has also directed the government to notify a new prosecutor or a team of prosecution in the treason case by December 5. It has also asked the special court to fix a date "for affording a reasonable opportunity of hearing" to the notified prosecutor or prosecution team as well as the counsel appointed for Musharraf.

The special court on November 19 concluded the trial proceedings in the high treason case against Musharraf for declaring a state emergency on November 3, 2007. It also ruled out that the verdict would be announced on November 28 (Thursday) on the basis of the available record, dawn had reported.

The high treason trial of the former leader has been pending since December 2013 when he was booked in the case.

He 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 president lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016 "to seek medical treatment."

The retired general was that year declared an absconder as he failed to appear before the court despite repeated summons and the court directive issued to the FIA to arrest him.

Story highlights

The IHC was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan government seeking an adjournment of the verdict's announcement. A similar petition was also filed by Musharraf in the Lahore High Court