Treason trial: Charge-sheet finalised against Musharraf

643525-Musharrafreuters-1386663457-841-640x480ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday finalised the charge-sheet in the high treason case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The document catalogues five charges against Musharraf including imposing emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, detaining superior courts’ judges and abrogating the constitution by imposing the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, government officials said they could back all the charges listed against the former president with ‘written evidence’. “We have the original copies of his (president Musharraf’s) written orders authorising emergency in the country besides other unconstitutional steps,” said the official.

Musharraf is the country’s first military ruler to be charged for treason, and a conviction could lead to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

The interior secretary, who is the complainant representing the state in the treason trial, will officially submit a copy of the charges against Musharraf before the registrar of the special court set up for Musharraf’s trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.

The nine-page document also refers to the powers assumed by the ex-military chief to amend the 1973 Constitution.

In the light of the inquiry report prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the charge sheet held Musharraf “solely responsible” for abrogating the constitution with no collaborators.

Where are Musharraf’s collaborators?

The former president has been denying the existence of any written orders that could prove he committed treason. A member of Musharraf’s legal team Ahmed Raza Kasuri accused the government of deliberately hiding the para 2 of Article 6 of the Constitution.

“Para 2 has these three magic words, ‘collaborators, abettors or those who aid’ and they refer to all the collaborators as guilty of treason,” Kasuri told The Express Tribune. If Musharraf committed treason then all those who supported his acts should be charged with the same and brought before the court, he added.

Kasuri said the same constitutional provision states that any ‘act of treason’ cannot be validated by any higher court.

He said all members of parliament and provincial assemblies who validated the emergency were collaborators. All the judges who legalised the October 12, 1999 acts and validated the PCO were liable to treason as well, Kasuri added.

Accusing the government of interference, Kasuri said FIA was directed to focus only on the former president and not the collaborators. “But the court’s hands are not tied. We demand the court include all the collaborators,” said Kasuri.

A three-member special court has been set up for the treason trial.

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