Britain refuses to deport Musharraf citing capital punishment law in Pakistan


The British government has indicated it won't handover former military dictator Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan because a "possibility of capital punishment impedes the formulation of an agreement between the two countries", according to a media report Tuesday.


Pakistan's Tribune Express quoted officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the foreign ministry saying an extradition treaty between Pakistan and Britain "remains ambivalent because the joint judicial team assigned to finalise the accord differed over the likelihood of the 'death sentence'."

FIA's prosecutor Muhammad Azhar Chaudhry, who is representing the probe agency in former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's assasination case, told the daily that the British government "has expressed reservations over the existence of the death penalty in Pakistani laws".

"Capital punishment is the main hurdle now. It is difficult to bring back Musharraf without signing an extradition treaty with the UK," Chaudhry was quoted as saying.

The daily quoted legal director of the foreign ministry Sher Bahadur Khan claiming that the joint judicial team of the two nations found it "difficult" to reach an agreement because "there are two different laws capital punishment exists in Pakistan, but not in the international law or the UK law".

"If Pakistan wants to reach an agreement with the UK, it will have to rule out this law at all costs," Khan said.

Musharraf is wanted by the police for his alleged involvement in Bhutto's death in a bomb and gun attack on Dec 27, 2007.

A court has declared him as an absconder and has issued a warrant against him.

Pakistan has requested the Interpol to help in deporting Musharraf who could face trial in Pakistan.

"Interpol will respond to Pakistan's request within two to three weeks," said the daily, adding Chaudhry hoped that the legal complications would be resolved soon and that Britain will consider Pakistan's request to repatriate the former military ruler.

Source: The Asia News.Net