A court in Pakistan on Tuesday handed a death sentence to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on treason charges bordering on his suspension of the country’s constitution in 2007.

The three-judge special court announced the decision in the capital Islamabad after several years of trial against Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan between 1999 and 2008.

Musharraf, now living in exile on Dubai, overthrew the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and became prominent on the world stage after joining the U.S.-led war on terrorism in Afghanistan.

The ex-strongman suspended the constitution in 2007 to purge the higher judiciary to avoid a legal challenge to his rule.

“It is a landmark judgment and will go long way to redefine Pakistan’s coup-prone political history,” local television commentator Hamid Mir said on his show.

Generals have ruled Pakistan for almost half of the country’s existence since it gained independence from Britain in 1947.

This is the first time Pakistani courts have intervened with powerful military leadership.

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