Rawalpindi - An accountability court while introducing e-court system recorded statements of two prosecution witnesses through Skpye yesterday. The purpose of introducing e-court system is to dispense speedy justice in the cases of corruption.

According to details, Accountability Court Special Judge Suhail Nasir allowed for testimony of two prosecution witnesses in a case of Rs 32.049 million fraud using social media and internet. A large numbers of lawyers and journalists witnessed the proceedings in the courtroom.

For recording of statement, the court staff had installed a 40 inch LED screen to see the prosecution witnesses who were cross-examined by the defence lawyers at the same time.

Acting Registrar Accountability Court, Muhammad Salman Ashraf while briefing the media on e-court system said that the e-system is being used for the first time in the courts working under federal law ministry. He said that there have been some precedents where courts in Pakistan had used video teleconferencing facility to have the statements recorded.

“An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi recently recorded statement of US journalist and lobbyist Mark Siegel in the case of assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto (BB),” he said adding that the law allowed the courts to use video teleconferencing system to record statements of witnesses in criminal cases. He said that use of modern technology would help the court decide the cases speedily. The system would help in reducing unnecessary delay in the trials.

Waqar Abbasi, a public prosecutor, termed the use of e-technology useful and beneficial for both prosecution and defence. He said that the court recorded statement of Shoaib Mahmood, official of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) deputed in Sukkur, in a corruption case. In the same case, the court recorded statement of Shaukat Hussain, registrar of Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in Islamabad.

Sharing other details of the corruption case, the prosecutor said that the accountability court framed charges against accused Muhammad Arshad for depriving 37 people of their money and started the trial. He said that another accused Muhammad Nazeer, brother of Arshad, had already been declared a proclaimed offender.

The prosecutor said that the NAB had received 37 different complaints against both the brothers who formed a company for Islamic investment and collected Rs 32.049 million from public. “NAB rounded up Arshad from Karachi as he was trying to fly out of country,” he said.