ISLAMABAD - In a major development in Benazir murder case, US author Mark Seigel who had earlier refused to record a statement in assassination case expressed on Monday willingness to record a statement via a video conference.

Seigel, a close friend and confidante of the late prime minister and an important prosecution witness, earlier cited security reasons for his refusal to appear in person to record a statement against former military ruler Pervez Musharaf in the Benazir assassination case. Earlier this year, the author said he was ready to record his statement through video link.

According to sources, the video conference is scheduled to be held on August 26 at 7:30pm, for which preparations are underway.

The video conference will be headed and witnessed by ATC-I Judge M Ayub Marth who will record Seigel’s statement. Sources said that Marth will be able to question Seigel after he has made his statement. Siegel will record his statement from Pakistan Embassy in Washington.

Former prime minister Benazir was assassinated outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007 and according to Siegel, Musharraf had threatened Benazir with “dire consequences” if she returned home before the 2008 election.

Along with five other prosecution witnesses, Siegel was summoned on January 5 by an anti-terrorism court to record statements in the high-profile assassination case.