High court overturns death sentence for former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

Jan. 13 (UPI) — A Pakistani high court on Mondy overturned a death sentence for the country’s former president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The three-member bench of Lahore’s High Court found that the special court that issued the death sentence on charges of high treason was unconstitutional.

The court said that the forming of the special court that passed the death sentence was illegal and Musharraf is no longer a suspect.

The judges said the case against Musharraf was politically motivated and the charges of high treason and subverting the Constitution he faced were a joint offense that “cannot be undertaken by a single person.”

Pakistan’s current government, which includes many people loyal to Musharraf, is not likely to reconstitute the special court for a new trial, lawyers and analysts have said.

Musharraf was handed the unprecedented sentence last month after the court ruled 2-1 under Article 6 of the Constitution that states “any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends” the Constitution by force or any other unconstitutional means will be guilty of high treason, which is punishable by death or life imprisonment.

He was accused of imposing a state of emergency in violation of the constitution in 2007 to extend his near-decade rule of the country.

The charges had been pending since December 2013, and Musharraf had described the charges as baseless from a hospital in Dubai where he was admitted last month due to his deteriorating health.