Supporters of former President Pervez Musharraf, head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party, chant slogans during a protest demanding a fair trial for him in Karachi March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
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A Pakistani court Monday indicted former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason -- a milestone for civilian authority in a country long dominated by the army.The ex-general, who seized power in 1999 and resigned in 2008, pleaded "not guilty" as Tahira Safdar, one of three judges hearing the case since December, read the charges relating to his 2007 imposition of emergency rule.After the hearing, chief prosecutor Akram Sheikh said Musharraf's main defence rested on the claim that he acted on the advice of then-prime minister Shaukat Aziz and the cabinet when suspending the constitution.The International Commission of Jurists hailed the indictment of such a senior military figure as "unprecedented" for Pakistan.Monday's hearing was only the second time Musharraf had appeared in person before the court, delaying proceedings and raising speculation of a face-saving deal between civilian and military powers to take him out of the country.
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