NewsOne reported: The Special Court Monday indicted former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason on charges relating to his 2007 imposition of emergency rule.
Tahira Safdar, one of three judges of a special court convened to try the case, read out five charges, with the ex-president pleading “not guilty” to each of them.
Musharraf, who has been missing from most of the tribunal hearings owing to security threats and ill health, then turned to address the court.
“I respect this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in the law and don’t have ego problems, and I have looked in courtroom 16 times in this year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, said.
Looking fit and confident, he established an emotional speech highlighting the country’s achievements under his tenure.
“I am being called a traitor, I have been head of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?”
“I am not a betrayerFor me traitors are those who loot public money and empty the treasury,” he appended
He stated that he doesn’t expect justice from the incumbent government. He questioned that are those ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ who are sitting is assemblies?
“Where is justice, why only I’m being blamed alone?”
Later on the hearing, chief prosecutor Akram Sheikh said Musharraf’s main defense rested on the claim that he acted on the advice of then-prime minister Shaukat Aziz and the cabinet when suspending the organization.
“He has led the defense that he did not get these steps independently,” Sheikh said.
“On this I have submitted before the tribunal that it is now for him to demonstrate that he has done this on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet,” he appended.
Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November 2007, shortly before the Supreme Court was due to rule on the legality of his re-election as president a month before while he was also the army chief
He then arrested and forced out the country’s top judges, including the chief justice, who challenged his decision.
Musharraf has survived a torrid time since returning to Pakistan in March last year on an ill-fated mission to work in the general election.
Nearly as soon as he landed he was barred from contesting the vote and strike with a barrage of legal events, including on his decision to raid Islamabad’s Lal Masjid, the violent death of a Baloch politician Nawab Akber Bugti and the demise of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, NewsOne.