RAWALPINDI - The absence of former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) during former Premier Benazir Bhutto assassination case hearing infuriated the judge who ordered Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to produce the accused before the court on the next date of hearing.

“The accused General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf can not be produced before the court because of security threats,” informed FIA investigators to the court. On this, ATC Special Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman observed, “If you people (FIA) do not present the accused before the court then how can the case be heard.”

The judge while expressing his deep displeasure, also directed the FIA Deputy Director Khalid Rasool to ensure special public prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali’s presence on next hearing that was set July 9, 2013. The court ordered the accused as well as prosecution to ensure appearance on the next hearing so that copies of chargesheets could be distributed among the accused and hearing into the case could be restarted.

On the other hand, the lawyer of Aizaz Shah, one of five accused arrested in connection with BB murder case, also filed bail plea for the third time. However, the court set next date of hearing for hearing the application. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till July 9, 2013.

The two police officers including former City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Saud Aziz and former SP Rawal Town Khurram Shehzad and five other accused were also present in the courtroom.

Defense was represented by Munnawar Abid and Amanat Ali, as senior lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar did not appear before the court. In last hearing, FIA declares Musharraf the prime accused in BB assassination.

The court had also ordered CPO Rawalpindi to provide security to FIA Prosecutor Ali but on last hearing the CPO informed the court that police could provide security cover to Chaudhry Azhar Ali from Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIAP) to ATC No 1 and not for 24 hours.

Talking to The Nation, Azhar said that police have not yet provided him security. He said that he was contesting high profile cases like Haj corruption case, Mumbai attacks and BB murder case. “I am also receiving threats and everyone knows about it but the police have closed its eyes,” he said. He said the defence parties in these cases were very powerful and even witnesses in the high profile cases were being given threats.