TITLE=PAKISTAN - SHARIF TRIAL (L)
INTRO: Prosecutors in the case against
Pakistan's former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif,
said Monday that they plan to seek the death
penalty if he is convicted. Mr. Sharif and six
others are charged with kidnapping, hijacking and
attempted murder for their roles in the alleged
diversion of a plane the night Pakistan's
military seized control. From Islamabad, Ayaz
TEXT: The prosecution sought the death penalty
for Pakistan's former prime minister as it began
final arguments in the special anti-terrorism
court in Karachi (Monday).
Chief prosecutor Raja Quereshi argued that the
prosecution has proved its hijacking case against
Mr. Sharif and the anti-terrorism law requires
"maximum punishment" for the offense. He said
the court will have to give a reason for awarding
a lesser punishment.
The prosecution has two more days to wrap up the
case. The defense is expected to make its
closing arguments later this week.
Mr. Sharif, his brother Shahbaz and five others
are accused of having endangered the lives of the
army chief General Pervez Musharraf and 200
others on board a plane on October 12 by trying
to prevent the aircraft from landing in Pakistan.
The plane, which was running dangerously low on
fuel, eventually landed at Karachi airport after
the military seized power.
Mr. Sharif says he is not guilty of the charges
against him and that the evidence against him is
The prosecution's call for the death penalty
follows remarks by U-S officials that President
Clinton, when he visits Pakistan later this week,
will urge Pakistani leaders to spare Nawaz
Sharif's life if he is convicted. (Signed)
20-Mar-2000 10:24 AM EDT (20-Mar-2000 1524 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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