Pakistan has set up a special court to try former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for high treason, an offence punishable by death or life in prison, an official statement said.
The announcement came hours after the Supreme Court forwarded a list of suitable judges to sit on the special court, following a government request on Monday.
Three judges were chosen by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is now on an unprecedented collision course with the all powerful military.
“The prime minister has approved names of judges for special court for trial of high treason under article 6 (of the constitution),” his office said in a statement.
“The government has notified the tribunal,” the statement added.
The decision to try Musharraf for treason, announced live on TV by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday, means the former Pakistani leader faces the death penalty or a life term if convicted.
It comes after Musharraf was granted bail in other cases against him, stoking rumours a deal for his departure could be imminent.
The former general applied last week to be removed from the government’s “exit control list” that stops him leaving Pakistan, to go to visit his sick mother in Dubai.
On Monday, a court adjourned a hearing into his travel ban after the government’s attorney-general failed to attend court.
The treason accusation relates to Musharraf’s decision in 2007 to impose emergency rule shortly before the Supreme Court was due to decide on the legality of his re-election as president a month earlier while he was still army chief.