ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf went on trial for treason on Wednesday, a case that could test the relationship between an increasingly assertive civilian government and the army.

Musharraf, 70, faces the death penalty over his suspension of the constitution and imposition of emergency rule in 2007, when he was trying to extend his rule as president in the face of growing opposition.

Musharraf, who did not appear in court, says the trial is a politically motivated vendetta.

His lawyers argued that Musharraf cannot get a fair trial in Pakistan because of his history of disputes with the judiciary and the involvement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whom he once overthrew in a coup.

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