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Pakistan to start treason probe of Musharraf

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister ordered officials Wednesday to begin a treason investigation into Pervez Musharraf, bringing the government closer to putting the former military ruler on trial.

The case sets up a possible clash between the government and Pakistan’s powerful army, a worrisome prospect in a country that has a history of military coups. Musharraf could face life in prison or the death penalty if he is charged with and convicted of treason.

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The government told the Supreme Court on Monday that Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999, should be put on trial for allegedly committing treason while in office. The government specifically cited his decision to declare a state of emergency and suspend the constitution in 2007.

The court ordered the government to notify the judges by Wednesday of the steps it would take to try Musharraf and scheduled a hearing for the following day to hear the government’s response.

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