ISLAMABAD - The political party founded by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf Tuesday said that it was “appalled” at the decision of death sentence handed downed to him by the special court and will file an appeal in the apex court.

Mehrene Malik Adam, the general secretary of All Pakistan Muslim League — Musharraf’s party, said that they were shocked at the verdict against the former President which is “announced without hearing him.”

“We have decided to file an appeal against the judgment and we are consulting our legal team and shall announce our future course of action,” she said in a statement hours after the short verdict was announced.

Later in the evening, Barrister Salman Safdar, the lawyer of Musharraf, addressing a news conference at the National Press Club said that they would file the appeal soon after the detailed verdict of the case would be announced by the three-member court. The decision of death sentence given to Musharraf declaring him guilty of high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution did not fulfil the legal requirements needed to give such a sentence, he added

“We show our reservations and concern against the one-sided decision…especially when former President is under treatment and fighting against the deadly disease,” said the APML general secretary.

Ex-president’s lawyer says sentence did not fulfil legal requirements

She went on to say that the former military ruler repeatedly requested the special court not to announce the decision in his absence and to give him the right to defend himself but to no avail.

“This is an unconstitutional trial pursued in the most unconstitutional way without hearing his lawyers and giving them a chance to defend them.”

APML said that the case against the former chief of army staff (COAS) was formed on “flimsy grounds, where aiders and abettors were excluded from the case and its hearing and the former President was singled out in the high treason case.” The decision to impose state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007 had been taken after consulting then cabinet members, chief ministers, governors and corps commanders, it added.

APML pointed out that Musharraf during his stay in Pakistan, as a law abiding citizen, did appear before all the courts to face the charges against him. “We firmly believe that all the cases created against the former President have mala fide, and he is being made subject to political victimization.” Barrister Salman Safdar, the counsel of Musharraf, in his news conference said that how the sentence could be awarded in absentia and added that the law did not permit this.

The counsel alleged that the decision was handed down in has haste with having legal flaws as Musharraf was deprived the right of fair trial. H did not even get an opportunity to plead his case. He said that the complaint against him was even registered without the approval of the then cabinet. He questioned why then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and then chief justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar were not held accused in the complaint.

Pervez Musharraf

At a glance

1943   Born in Delhi, India

1961   Joins Pakistan Military Academy

1999   Leads bloodless coup

2001    Becomes president

2007    Loses power

2008    Goes into self-imposed exile - returns from 2013 to 2016

2014    Charged with high treason