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DATE=11/10/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAK / SHARIF ACCUSED (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-256044 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: One month after being ousted from power, Pakistan's military rulers have accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, of hijacking and attempted murder, charges that carry the death penalty under Pakistani laws. As Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad, Mr. Sharif's political party is calling the accusations biased and one-sided. TEXT: The charges date back to an incident that occurred October 12, the day of the coup. A complaint filed by the military says that, hours before the coup, Mr. Sharif refused landing rights to a plane carrying Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf and 200 others on a flight back to Pakistan from Sri Lanka. The plane was eventually allowed to land, the complaint says, but only after the military had seized power. The military says the aircraft had less than seven-minutes of fuel left and could have crashed, killing all the people on board. Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, a spokesman for Mr. Shairf's political party, Pakistan Muslim League, says the charges against the deposed Prime Minister are unfair. /// HAQ ACT /// It is a sad development. For the last one month, despite our pleas, he (Mr. Sharif) has not been allowed to meet his lawyers, his relatives, or his friends to put across his own point of view or his own defense. So it is all one-sided and the way the case has been registered after one month, I don't think there could be any possibility of a fair trial. /// END ACT /// The move to bring criminal charges against Mr. Sharif and several other colleagues comes at a time when Mr. Sharif's party has decided to challenge his dismissal in the Supreme Court. It is not clear as to when a petition will be filed in Pakistan's highest court. Under Pakistani laws, the charges brought against the ousted Prime Minister carry the death penalty. But a senior lawyer at Pakistan's Supreme Court, Akram Sheikh , says such an eventuality is unlikely. /// SHEIKH ACT /// It is most unlikely that on the bases of the charges he may be executed or capital punishment may be awarded so far as this present case is concerned. My best guess will be that the court, notwithstanding the absolutely weighty evidence, may not go beyond a life term. /// END ACT /// Pakistan's new military leader General Musharraf has set up a joint civilian-military government that he says will work toward reviving the country's economy and ending corruption. The military is also investigating Mr. Sharif for loan defaults and tax evasion allegations. Mr. Sharif's family denies the charges. The military complaint is the first step in the process of formal charges against Mr. Sharif, who has been under detention since his dismissal from power last month. Since then, his family and human rights groups have been calling on the military to either charge him or release him. (Signed) NEB/AG/KL 11-Nov-1999 08:25 AM EDT (11-Nov-1999 1325 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .