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Pakistan asks high court to start treason proceedings against Musharraf

Pakistan officials on Monday filed a request with the nation's Supreme Court [official website], asking the court to start treason proceedings against former president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The government contends [Reuters report] that Musharraf committed treason by suspending the constitution and imposed emergency rule in 2007. Musharraf was ousted from power [CSM report] in 2008 and has faced several criminal charges, including allegedly assassinating former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. If convicted, Musharraf faces a possible sentence of either life in prison or the death penalty.

Musharraf has faced a slew of legal troubles. Earlier this month he was granted bail [JURIST report] in a criminal case relating to the death of a radical cleric. In August the Pakistani interim government declined [JURIST report] to try Musharraf for treason because they claimed such action would be outside the scope of their duties. Also that month a Pakistani court officially charged [JURIST report] Musharraf with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of murder in the 2007 death of Bhutto. In April a Pakistan court extended [JURIST report] Musharraf's bail on charges of illegally detaining judges. That same month, the Peshawar High Court of Pakistan both banned [JURIST report] Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life and extended his house arrest during the ongoing trial regarding the murder of Bhutto. In March Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] Pakistan to hold Musharraf accountable for alleged human rights abuses upon his return to the country. Msuharraf left Pakistan in 2008 to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London after he was defeated by Benazir Bhutto's party.

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