Riyaz Patel

Pakistan’s former president, General Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death in a high treason case. The retired general was tried in absentia after leaving the country several years ago to undergo medical treatment.

The special court in Islamabad backed capital punishment in a split 2-1 vote. Musharraf, who held the power in Pakistan for a decade, was accused of subverting the Pakistani constitution to stay in power.

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The court announced its verdict Tuesday after a weeks-long delay as the Pakistani government and Musharraf’s defense team made last-ditch attempts to prolong the case which was launched in 2013.

The decision is subject to appeal.

Earlier Musharraf complained from a hospital bed in Dubai, where he’s been living in recent years, that his trial was unfair.

He urged the court to take a statement from him at the hospital and confirm the state of his health. 

Musharraf has been mostly living in exile since losing power in 2008. He returned to Pakistan in 2013 to take part in a general election, but was disqualified and put under house arrest on charges related to his decision to impose a state of emergency in 2007. 

The following year, he was allowed to leave the country again to seek medical treatment.

The former Pakistani leader says his prosecution is politically motivated and that his only goal was to serve Pakistan as a military commander and later as president.

Two weeks ago, he was sent to a hospital in Dubai after reportedly suffering heart and blood pressure problems.

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