Former Pakistani military ruler Musharraf fails to appear in court

Jan. 1, 2014 at 6:53 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Lawyers for former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf Wednesday asked a special court for a five-week adjournment of his hearing on treason charges.

The motion was filed as the retired general once again failed to appear in the Islamabad court because of security threats, Pakistan's Express Tribune reported. The report said explosive materials were found on the route between his farmhouse and the court.

Voice of America Wednesday quoted police saying they had defused an improvised explosive device on the route. In a similar threat a week ago, explosive materials were found along the same route, resulting in the court adjourning the hearing until Wednesday.

Besides the request for a five-week adjournment, Musharraf's lawyers also asked the court to exempt him from appearing in court, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The treason charge relates to Musharraf's suspension of the constitution and imposition of emergency rule in 2007. He held power until 2008 following a military coup in 1999.

If convicted on the treason charge, Musharraf could either face the death penalty or life imprisonment. He has dismissed the charge as politically-motivated.

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