Rawalpindi - A key witness of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency on Monday refused to testify against the suspect of banned outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) facing trial in former premier Benazir Bhutto (BB) murder case in an Anti Terrorism Court.

The key eyewitness told the court that his life is in great danger after he left job from ISI and his native town is sharing borders with the village of former TTP cheif Baitullah Mehsood.

Consequently, the ATC discarded his earlier statement he recorded before the investigation team which is probing the BB’s assassination case.

ISI former telephone operator Ismail had confirmed to investigation team that he intercepted talks between the suspects and TTP terrorists.

The court adjourned the hearing till June 4, 2015 by summoning four more prosecution witnesses for recording their statements in the high profile case. Similarly, the court also closed the statement of a police officer who is sick and could not speak as he is on death bed.

The Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Number 1 Special Judge Rai Muhammad Ayub Marth took up BB murder case in a newly established room in Commissioner Office where prosecution witness Ismail, the former ISI telephone operator, faced the court. However, Ismail refused to record his statement before the judge, saying he was facing life threats since he left ISI contractual job. He added that his village was bordering the area of Baitullah Mehsood, therefore, he could not record his statement before the court. On this, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali pleaded the court that the witness has given up, therefore, the court should discard his statement. Then the court discarded the statement of Ismail.

In the meanwhile, the court also closed the evidence to the extent of a Sub Inspector (SI) Sona Khan who rounded up a suspect Sherzaman from Dera Ismail Khan. A medical report was also produced before the court that after retirement, the SI lost his eyesight and ill seriously. Therefore, he could not recognise the suspects.

About US author Mark Seigal’s statement through video link, FIA prosecutor told the court that Secretary Interior was in contact with foreign office and the officials of Embassy of Pakistan in USA to know who would contact Mark Seigal and arrange video link facility for him in the Embassy. The court summoned 4 witnesses in BB murder case and postponed the hearing till June 4, 2015.

FIA Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali, while talking to The Nation, confirmed the development in BB murder case, saying an ISI former telephone operator refused to testify against the suspects in BB murder case. The court discarded his statement on my plea, he added.