Benazir Bhutto murder case witnesses under Taliban death threats

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 03, 2013 07:10 hrs

A key prosecution witness in the Benazir Bhutto murder case did not testify in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Rawalpindi on Saturday after receiving threats from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The witness, Sub Inspector Ashfaq Ahmed, who works in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Lahore, failed to appear in court to record his statement, fearing a terrorist attack, reports The Dawn.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) produced before the court a written complaint by Ahmed stating that a TTP leader had called him on his mobile phone and threatened to kill him and members of his family if he appeared before the ATC to testify against the accused in the murder case.

The FIA official also produced two other similar complaints by the Station House Officer (SHO) of Civil Lines, Rawalpindi, Inspector Ijaz Hussain Shah, and Gujrat SHO Inspector Mohammad Ilyas about threats from the TTP. But both these officers appeared before the court.

According to the two SHOs, they received a call from Afghanistan on February 26. The unknown caller identified himself as the Taliban's deputy chief and warned them of 'revenge' if they testified before the ATC.

An FIA official said that security for key witnesses in the Benazir murder case have been stepped up after the recent threats.

Inspector Shah, the Pindi SHO, had recovered some evidence from two of the accused in the Benazir murder case - Rafaqat Hussain and Husnain Gul. (ANI)

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