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Pakistan Sentences Former Ruler to Death

But Pervez Musharraf has been out of the country for years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2019 4:48 AM CST
Pakistan Sentences Former Ruler to Death
In this April 15, 2013 photo, Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf addresses his party supporters at his house in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (B.K. Bangash, File)

(Newser) – A Pakistani court on Tuesday sentenced the country's former military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to death in a treason case related to the state of emergency he imposed in 2007 while in power, officials said. It's the first time in Pakistan's history that a former army chief and ruler of the country has been sentenced to death. Musharraf, who was sentenced in absentia, has been out of the country since 2016, when he was allowed to leave on bail to seek medical treatment abroad. He has been living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is said to be very ill and unlikely to travel home to face the sentence, the AP reports.

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Pakistan and the UAE have no extradition treaty and Emirati authorities are unlikely to arrest Musharraf. If he were to return, however, Musharraf would have the right to challenge his conviction and sentence in court. The ruling Tuesday by a three-judge panel was not unanimous and one of the judges had opposed the death sentence, according to Akhtar Sheikh, one of Musharraf's lawyers. In an infamous purge in 2007, Musharraf imposed a state of emergency and placed several key judges under house arrest in the capital, Islamabad and elsewhere in Pakistan. He came to power after ousting former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a 1999 bloodless coup.

(Read more Pakistan stories.)

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