Musharraf attack: Pakistani court cancels death penalty

Islamabad, March 6: Pakistan’s top court Wednesday overturned an army court’s death penalty handed to two civilians for a suicide attack on the country’s former military president Pervez Musharraf, a media report said.

Musharraf had survived two assassination attempts in December 2003 in the garrison city of Rawalpindi when his motorcade came under attack. Several civilians and policemen had been killed in the attacks.

Several military personnel and civilians had been arrested and convicted for their alleged role in the attacks, reported Xinhua.

A military court had handed down life sentence to a civilian, Rana Naveed, and 20-year jail term to another man, Ameer Sohail.

However, the army appeal court had later turned life terms into death penalties in July 2005.

Both had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had said in previous hearings that the military appeal court had delivered the verdict without informing the convicts and adhering to the relevant procedure laid down in the law.

The court had reserved its judgement March 1 and delivered it Wednesday.

The apex court in its previous hearing had expressed surprise over the manner in which the military authorities enhanced the convicts’ sentences.

IANS