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Treason trial: govt levels five charges against Musharraf

13 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: In compliance with the Supreme Court's order, the government on Thursday filed a complaint in a special court with five charges for the trial of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for high treason.

Interior Secretary Shahid Khan has submitted the complaint to the special court's Registrar, Abdul Ghani Soomro, against Musharraf for the offence of high treason under Article 6 of the constitution, read with section 3 of the high treason (Punishment Act 1973) and section 5 of the criminal law amendment (special court) Act, 1976. The government has prayed the special court that Musharraf should be summoned for his trial, convicted and punished in accordance with law and the constitution.

It is for the first time in the country's history that the federal government has moved a complaint against any person for the offence of high treason under Article 6 of the constitution. According to the government's complaint, Pervez Musharraf has been declared as the lone accused. The government stated in its complaint, "Criminal acts of subversion of the constitution, constituting high treason, were personal acts of General (r) Pervez Musharraf for the purposes of his personal aggrandisement and a consequential vendetta."

It has been learnt that as head of the government's legal team Akram Sheikh has finalised the draft of complaint against Musharraf. Talking to our sources, he claimed that trial of the former army chief would be concluded within ten days and if the accused approaches the Supreme Court against his trial then he would request that the trial be allowed to complete first. The government has framed five formal charges against Musharraf along with a list of nine witnesses, including one FIA investigating officer (IO). The government stated, "At no point of time did parliament validate or indemnify abovementioned treasonous acts of subversion and abrogation of the constitution"

The government has charged Musharraf of issuing an unconstitutional and unlawful emergency on November 3, 2007 which, unconstitutionally and unlawfully, held the constitution in abeyance, which constitutes subversion of the constitution and commission of the offence of high treason. Second charge is that Musharraf issued the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) on November 3, 2007 as army chief which unconstitutionally and unlawfully empowered the president to amend the constitution from time to time. He has also been accused of suspending the fundamental rights enshrined in articles 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25 of the constitution.

The ex-army chief has also been charged of issuing an unconstitutional and unlawful "Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007" which required a judge to abide by the provisions of the Proclamation of Emergency and the PCO. The fourth accusation is that on November 20, 2007, as the president, he issued an unconstitutional and unlawful Order 5 of 2007 "Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007" whereby articles 175, 186-A, 198, 218, 270B and 270C were unconstitutionally and unlawfully amended and Article 270AAA was added to the constitution, thereby subverting the constitution.

The fifth charge is that on December 14, 2007 he issued an unconstitutional and unlawful Order 6 of 2007 "Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 2007" whereby the constitution was unconstitutionally and unlawfully amended The government has contended that sufficient material is available on the record which calls for the prosecution of Musharraf for the offence of high treason, which is punishable under Section 2 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.

End.

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