A special court in Pakistan on Thursday announced it would deliver a verdict in the high treason case against former President General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf on 17 December. The decision, it said, will be announced regardless of whether the court arguments are concluded, Pakistan TV news channel Geo News reported.
While rejecting the prosecution’s demand for more time to prepare the final arguments for the case, the court's three-member Bench initially said that four days were more than enough to prepare, but later agreed to allow until 17 December, according to media reports in Pakistan.
Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth, who is heading the Bench, said preoccupation with this one case against the former Pakistan president was delaying judgements in other cases.
Musharraf has been living in a self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2016 to "seek medical treatment."
The high treason case was filed against him in December 2013 for declaring a state of emergency in Pakistan on 3 November, 2007 by suspending the Pakistan Constitution. Musharraf was indicted on 31 March 2014.
The prosecution tabled the entire evidence before a special court in September 2014. However, the trial of the former president lingered on due to delayed litigation at the appellate level.
Last month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stopped a special court from announcing a verdict in the matter after hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan government which sought a postponement of the verdict's announcement.
A similar petition was also filed by Musharraf before the Lahore High Court.
The high court also directed the government to notify a new prosecutor or a team of prosecution in the treason case by 5 December and asked a special court to fix a date "for affording a reasonable opportunity of hearing" to the notified prosecutor or prosecution team as well as the counsel appointed for Musharraf.