Continued absence of public prosecutor may see Salman Taseer assassin walk free

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Rawalpindi, Feb 5(ANI): An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Pakistan hearing the Salmaan Taseer assassination case has expressed its concern over the continuous absence of the public prosecutor from the trial of Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of the late Punjab Governor.

The court has asked the Islamabad administration to ensure the public prosecutor's presence on February 14- the next date of the hearing, the Dawn reports.

Earlier, the Islamabad administration had notified Advocate Saiful Malook as the public prosecutor, but he did not turn up in the court, and has not even cited any reason for his absence so far.

According to experts, it will be difficult for the ATC to formally indict Qadri in the absence of a prosecutor.

The court was supposed to indict the assassin on February 1, but his lawyers sought time on the grounds that they wanted to examine the statements of six Elite Force men, who were with him in the team deployed for Taseer's security.

On Friday, the Kohsar police handed over the copies of the statements to Qadri's advocate.

According to a police officer, the Elite Force personnel stated before a judicial magistrate in Islamabad that Qadri shot dead the then Punjab Governor on January 4 when the latter was in his car.

They said that the firing was so sudden that they could not stop Qadri, who handed over his gun to them after killing Taseer. (ANI)

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