RAWALPINDI: Anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday has expressed disappointment over absence of SSP Tahir Ayub, a member of the joint investigation team (JIT) in Benazir Bhutto murder case.
The court has issued non-bailable arrest warrant of Inspector Tariq Ilyas Kiyani following the warrants of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tahir Ayub. The ATC has ordered security department to present the persons in next hearing.
Judge Rai Ayub Marth heard the case in Rawalpindi’s ATC. The hearing saw conclusion of plaintiff’s cross examination, Inspector Kashif Riaz by alleged criminals’ team of counsels.
The court was told that reports suggest that JIT member and important witness in the case, SSP Tahir Ayub has fled the country. Flyers have been displayed outside his residence in Islamabad and the court.
The prints state that Ayub is hiding to avoid arrest. However, the ATC expressed resentment over his absence despite ads and issuance of arrest warrant.
The judge ordered the authorities concerned to make his presence sure in the next hearing of the Benazir Bhutto murder case.
The ATC further ordered Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) to arrest Inspector Tariq Ilyas Kiyani, a witness of the prosecution and present him in the next hearing. The hearing was adjourned until October 19.
In the earlier hearing, the court had declared SSP Ayub an absconder as he did not appear despite multiple notices.
Moreover, Mark Siegel, a key prosecution witness in the murder case of Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) late leader and first woman prime minister (PM) of Pakistan, will be available for cross-examination in the first week of November. The Foreign Office (FO) had assured the court in previous hearing.
The court was informed that arrangements for cross-examination of American lobbyist Mark Siegel will be made at the office of Rawalpindi Commissioner.
54-year-old Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide attack outside Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, after she addressed an election campaign rally.