KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) _ Government officials blacked out the runway at Karachi's airport and sent fire trucks onto the tarmac to prevent an aircraft flying the army chief home from landing in the tense hours before last year's military coup, an army officer testified Saturday.

Lt. Col. Attiq-uz-zaman Kiyani's testimony came in the third week of the attempted murder trial of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and six others. The men are also charged with terrorism, kidnapping and hijacking.

The charges, which carry either the death penalty or life in prison, stem from Oct. 12, when Army Chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf's aircraft was allegedly forced to stay airborne by Sharif, who had appointed his own man as army chief.

But the army resisted, took power, and arrested Sharif. Kiyani testified that soldiers eventually switched the lights on and cleared the runways to allow the aircraft to land. The plane apparently had only seven minutes of fuel remaining when it touched down.

Sharif has pleaded not guilty.

Kiyani testified that the decision to deny Musharraf's plane landing was made by the prime minister.

Kiyani, who laid the police complaint against Sharif that led to his indictment and trial, told the court he had been at the airport to welcome Musharraf back to Pakistan. Musharraf had been in Sri Lanka on an official visit.

The trial resumes Wednesday.