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Pakistan's Musharraf sentenced to death for ‘high treason’

This file photo shows Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf saluting as he arrives to unveil his party manifesto for the forthcoming general elections, at his residence in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 15, 2013. (By Reuters)

A special court in Pakistan has handed former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a death sentence for “high treason” in an unprecedented ruling in the country’s history.

Musharraf, who is living in self-imposed exile, was sentenced to death by a special court in Islamabad on Tuesday on charges of high treason for imposing a state of emergency in 2007, a senior government official said.

“Pervez Musharraf has been found guilty of Article 6 for violation of the constitution of Pakistan,” government law officer Salman Nadeem said.

Musharraf suspended the constitution and imposed a state of emergency in 2007 when he was facing growing opposition to his rule.

His lawyer, Akhtar Shah, said Musharraf was still sick and in Dubai.

According to Pakistani legal experts, Musharraf can challenge the ruling in Pakistan’s High Court.

The verdict was given after a six-year trial, the first time a military dictator in Pakistan faced a treason trial.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup and later served as a president of the country from 2001 to 2008.

He resigned in 2008 to avoid impeachment charges and has since spent much of his time abroad.

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