RAWALPINDI: The anti-terrorism court hearing Benazir Bhutto’s murder case has issued arrest warrants for Mohmand Agency political agent (PA) Bhalol Khan and the former premier’s driver on the day of her assassination Javaidur Rehman for failing to appear in court despite being repeated summons.
Judge Rai Ayub Khan directed police to produce both the prosecution witnesses on July 13, the next date of hearing.
Moreover, the prosecution has withdrawn a key witness in the case, former chief of the intelligence bureau Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah. Shah, considered be close to former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, was summoned several times to record his statement but after failing to do so, he has now been excused from appearing.
Mohmand Agency’s PA has been summoned as one of the four suspected terrorists who killed the former premier reportedly belongs to Mohmand Agency.
The case was adjourned till Monday, July 13.
Meanwhile, the federal law ministry has appointed Judge Rai Ayub Khan as the judge for the special court formed in light of the Protection of Pakistan Act in Punjab. As per the ministry’s notification, the judge, whose security has already been enhanced, will be hearing important cases related to terrorism in the northern part of the province.
He will also have the powers to record statements of convicts from jails via video link.
Summer vacations’ schedule
The schedule for summer vacations of special customs, accountability, anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism courts has been announced. Anti-terrorism court judge Asif Majeed Awan has left for vacations and his break will conclude on July 31.
The district’s civil, family and magistrate courts will observe summer vacations from August 1 to August 31. The Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench will also resume hearing on September 5.
In this time period, duty judges will be hearing important cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.