The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeals filed by two former army officers who were convicted for plotting to overthrow the government of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1995. The two officers, Col Mohammad Azad Minhas and Col Inayat Ullah Khan, were arrested along with other military officers on charges of plotting to storm a corps commanders meeting and assassinate the prime minister and army chief. The details of the conspiracy were revealed by one of the conspirators who turned approver. The Field General Court Martial sentenced the main conspirator, Maj Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, to seven years in prison. Col Minhas and Col Khan were also sentenced to four years each. In their appeal, the officers claimed that the sentence was without jurisdiction and with mala fide intention. However, the Supreme Court ruled that their argument had no legal justification and that their trial under the Army Act was valid. The court also said that the officers’ petitions were not maintainable as they were filed after a considerable delay. The court dismissed their pleas and stated that dismissal from service takes away all privileges and amenities granted to army personnel. The officers’ claim of double jeopardy was also rejected by the court, which ruled that their appeals were without merit.
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