RAWALPINDI- An anti-terrorism court (ATC) here on Saturday rejected the right of audience of a prosecution witness who forgot the basic details of Benazir Bhutto (BB) murder case during cross-examination.

The court also refused to allow Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special public prosecutor to grill the prosecution witness. However, the court accepted the plea of public prosecutor for conducting the trial of BB assassination case through video link and set September 27 for arguments on the said plea. Moreover, statement of another prosecution witness Inspector Ijaz Hussain Shah, now serving as SHO Police Station New Town, Rawalpindi, was not recorded by the court.

According to details, ATC Special Judge Pevaiz Ismail Joya took up BB assassination case at Adyala Jail in which a prosecution witness, Inspector Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas, now posted as SHO police station Kahuta, appeared before the court for recording his statement.

Defence lawyer Malik Jawad Khalid, who is representing an accused Hasnain Gull, questioned Inspector Ilyas, who had earlier submitted his statement that he had recovered diaries, mobile phone and SIM from the possession of Hasnain Gull during body search, for which case he (inspector) turned up before court to record his statement. The inspector replied he arrived here to record his statement in the case number 76 registered with PS Westridge in 2008. On this, the defence lawyer raised objection that the witness had no knowledge about the basic information of the BB murder case; therefore, he could not record his statement.

The judge accepted the objection and rejected the right of audience of the witness. FIA Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar pleaded court for cross-examining the aforementioned witness but the judge turned down his request. The prosecution did not present Inspector Ijaz Hussain Shah for recording his statement and sought more time for the purpose, which was awarded by the court.

Later, the public prosecutor filed a petition with the court, seeking video link trial of the case which was accepted by the court setting September 27, 2014 for arguments of the application.

During the hearing of BB murder case in Adyala Jail, former City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Saud Aziz, former SP Rawal Division Khurram Shehzad, and other five accused Hasnain Gull, Rafaqat Shah, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rasheed were also present.