RAWALPINDI: Joint investigation team (JIT) member and prosecution witness Tariq Ilyas’s statement in former prime minister (PM) Benazir Bhutto murder case has been recorded here on Monday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that United States (US) journalist, Mark Siegel would be available for cross examination on November 4 and 5.
Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court’s (ATC) Judge Rai Ayub Marth held hearing of the murder case. JIT members, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tahir Ayub and Inspector Tariq Ilyas appeared before the court today.
READ MORE: Benazir murder case: FO confirms Mark Seigel s availability for cross-examination in November
Both the prosecution witnesses requested for time to prepare for cross-examination. On the other hand, the foreign ministry filed report prepared regarding Siegel’s statement. The report states that the US journalist would be available for cross-examination on November 4 and 5.
The court was told that former president Pervez Musharraf’s counsels would cross-examine the journalist on a video link.
The hearing was adjourned until October 28 while orders of JIT members’ appearance in the hearing were maintained.
Earlier, the ATC had reinforced its arrest order of SSP Tahir Ayub. The court had issued non-bailable arrest warrant of Inspector Tariq Ilyas Kiyani following the warrants of SSP Ayub. The ATC had ordered security department to present the persons in today’s hearing.
The previous 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 had fled the country. Flyers were displayed outside his residence in Islamabad and the court.
The prints stated that Ayub is hiding to avoid arrest. However, the ATC was resented over his absence despite ads and issuance of arrest warrant.
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.