Bhutto`s lobbyist refuses to come to Pak to testify as witness

Last Updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 - 23:39

Islamabad: Slain premier Benazir Bhutto`s lobbyist Mark Siegel has refused to come to Pakistan and testify as a prosecution witness against former President Pervez Musharraf due to security concerns, prosecutors said Monday.
Prosecutors of the Federal Investigation Agency filed a petition asking an anti-terrorism court to allow US-based Siegel to record his statement via a video-link.
The petition, submitted to Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, said Siegel had said in an email sent to the FIA that he would not be able to personally appear in court due to security concerns.

The court accepted the petition for hearing and said the matter would be taken up on January 19.

Earlier, Judge Rehman had summoned Siegel to record his statement on January 5.

In a statement to the FIA`s investigation team, Siegel had revealed that Bhutto was disturbed after receiving a phone call from Musharraf in his presence in 2007.

According to Siegel, Musharraf had warned Bhutto that she would be responsible for her own security if she returned to Pakistan from self-exile before the 2008 polls.

Besides, Siegel claimed to have a copy of an email sent by Bhutto in which she said she was getting warnings and threats from Musharraf`s government.

Siegel also handed over to the FIA a copy of an email that Musharraf had sent to Bhutto.
The FIA formally made Siegel`s statement, recorded by an investigation team in the US, a part of the murder case.

The anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of suspects charged with involvement in Bhutto`s assassination has issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf following his failure to cooperate with investigators.

Musharraf has been living outside Pakistan since early 2009.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007.

Two months later, she was assassinated by a suicide bomber after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 7, 2013 - 23:39

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