RAWALPINDI - Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Number 1 Special Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman Tuesday reserved his judgment after the completion of arguments of the lawyers of all parties on an application filed by PPP Secretary General and former Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa urging the court not to restart the trial of former premier Benazir Bhutto murder case after indictment of military dictator and former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in the case.
Khosa had filed this application with the court on behalf of Tauqeer Zaman Kaira, the security guard of Benazir Bhutto, who was killed during a gun-and-bomb attack on BB in Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.
When the trial court took up the case, FIA Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Musharraf’s lawyer Muhammad Ilyas Siddique and defense lawyers Malik Muhammad Rafique and Malik Jawad Khalid argued over the application. Later, the court suspended the proceedings till October 1.
Sardar Latif Khosa, the lawyer of Tauqeer Zaman Kaira, argued before the court that PPP was not in favour of retrial of the case as it has already been in the court for last five years. He said that it would be wastage of time and national kitty if the court started trial again in BB assassination case. He requested the court to accelerate the proceeding for earlier disposal of case.
“The statements of 23 witnesses have been recorded by the court after great difficulties. However, these witnesses can be appeared before the court again for the purpose. But it would be wastage of court time and public money,” said FIA Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali to ATC No 1 Judge.
He said that the retrial of BB murder case would also give benefit to the killers of former FIA public prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali.
Malik Muhammad Rafique advocate held the PPP government responsible for delay in the case as it engaged FIA, JIT, Scotland Yard and UN for interrogation. He appealed the court to summon all the accused besides Musharraf and indict them again in the case.
“The court should summon all the witnesses and record their statements again in the high profile case” argued Ilyas Siddiqui. Malik Jawad Khalid said as per law the court should frame charges against the accused again besides recording the witnesses statements.
ATC No 1 Special Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, after completion of arguments, put aside the decision over retrial of the case and deferred the hearing till October 1, 2013.
Meanwhile, ATC No 1 accepted a plea filed by the Social Justice Party President Akhter Ali Shah Advocate seeking immunity for former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in BB murder case under Article 248 of the Constitution.
He pleaded that Musharaf cannot be included in investigation or declared accused in the case as he was President of the country at the time of BB murder. The FIA prosecutor termed the application as baseless.