Pakistan court indicts former president Pervez Musharraf for treason

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The former ruler has been in hospital since the beginning of year and reports say he is being treated for high blood pressure.
A Pakistani court indicted former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with high treason for suspending the constitution in 2007, a move that threatens to increase tensions between the army and government.
In the court room in Islamabad on Monday, Musharraf was read the indictment by the three-member bench, led by Justice Faisal Arab. The special court has been hearing arguments pertaining to the dismissal of judges and suspension of the constitution by Musharraf on November 3, 2007.
Musharraf appeared in court in person for the first time since being hospitalised on January 2 while en route to an earlier hearing. He has since been receiving treatment for a heart condition at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi, the Pakistani capital\’s twin city.
Musharraf has pleaded not guilty to the charge stemming from his decision in 2007 to suspend the constitution and declare a state of emergency in his bid to extend his increasingly disputed rule as president.
Before the indictment, Musharraf\’s lawyer requested that the court allow his client to travel to Dubai to visit his ailing mother.
The 70-year-old former ruler could face the death penalty or life in prison if he is convicted of treason.
Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 by ousting then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and later forcing him into exile. Musharraf stepped down in 2008 and went into self-imposed exile months later. The former army leader returned to Pakistan last year to participate in the May elections, but was barred from doing so because of several legal challenges facing him.
Source – Agencies

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