RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court again expressed concern on Friday on continuing absence of the public prosecutor from the trial of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, and asked the Islamabad administration to ensure his presence on the next date of hearing.
ATC-II Special Judge Raja Ikhlaq Ahmed is likely to indict Mumtaz Qadri on Feb 14 and wants the public prosecutor to attend the court that day to assist the court.
No prosecution lawyer has so far appeared in the case. The Islamabad administration had notified Advocate Saiful Malook as the public prosecutor but he has not turned up in the court and has not cited any reason for his absence.
According to experts, it will be difficult for the court to formally indict the accused in the absence of a prosecutor.
The court was to indict Qadri on Feb 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 security of the governor.
On Friday, the Kohsar police handed over copies of the statements to Advocate Raja Shujaur Rehman, who is representing Qadri.
According to a police officer, the Elite Force personnel stated before a judicial magistrate in Islamabad that Qadri shot dead the governor on Jan 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 the governor.