Benazir murder case: Siegel to be cross-examined on 20th

Former presidents has rejected recorded statement of US journalist


Our Correspondent January 16, 2016
Mark Siegel. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday issued notices to former president Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers to cross-examine Mark Siegel on January 20 in the Benair Bhutto murder case.

ATC-I Special Judge Muhammad Ayub Marth issued notices to Musharraf’s counsel Barrister Farogh Nasim and Illyas Siddique to cross-examine the American journalist, who is one of the key witnesses in the case, via video link.

The Punjab govt has made arrangements for teleconferencing in the Rawalpindi commissioner’s office.

The trial court has set January 20 for the cross-examination at Siegel’s request. He will be seated with his lawyer at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

Farooq H Naek was present with Siegel in Washington on October 1, 2015, when he testified before the ATC Rawalpindi via video link.

In his statement, Siegel had stated that he was with Bhutto on 25 September, 2007, when she received a threatening call from Musharraf, telling her not to come back to Pakistan. Siegel had also stated that Bhutto, after reaching Pakistan, sent him an email saying that if something happened to her, Musharraf should be held responsible.

Musharraf has rejected Siegel’s testimony, calling the statement against him “a pack of lies”. Musharraf had also, unsuccessfully, challenged the admissibility of Siegel’s statement and raised objections on the procedure adopted for recording the statement.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2016.

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