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KARACHI, Dec 29: A district and sessions court on Saturday expressed annoyance over the extended absence of some prosecution witnesses from the hearings of a gang-rape case.

Two accused along with their accomplices have been charged with subjecting an 18-year-old girl to a sexual assault in Jan 2007 in Ghotki.

Despite several court notices, the prosecution witnesses had not been appearing in court to record their testimonies.

District and Sessions Judge (south) Ahmed Saba berated the prosecution for failing to produce its witnesses. However, the prosecutor requested the court to grant more time since most of the witnesses belonged to Ghotki.

The court granted time to the prosecution with a direction to produce their witnesses on Jan 8 and if they failed to appear in court on that day, the acquittal application of the accused would be taken up.

In Jan 2010 the same court sentenced Anwar Hussain to life imprisonment and acquitted six others in the gang-rape case. The accused being tried by the court were not arrested when that verdict was pronounced.

A case (FIR 07/2007) was registered against the accused at the Ubaro police station. Initially, the case was tried in a court in Mirpur Mathelo. However, the Sindh High Court transferred the case to the district and sessions court (south) in Karachi on the request of the victim’s father.

Warrants out for policemen in judge murder case A sessions courts issued on Saturday non-bailable warrants for two policemen over their extended absence in a case pertaining to the murder of a judicial officer.

Sub-Inspector Maher Ali and Assistant Sub-Inspector Allah Nawazio were prosecution witnesses in the case.

Sajid Khan has been charged with killing his wife Shaista Hamid, a judicial magistrate, within the remit of the New Town police station in Sept 2005.

The court had issued notices to both witnesses with the direction to record their evidence over the last few hearings.

However, the witnesses remained unable to comply with the court orders.

The case was fixed for recording of evidence of the witnesses before the additional district and sessions judge (east), Nadeem Ahmed Khan.

However, both witnesses remained absent on Saturday and the court issued non-bailable warrants and directed police high-ups to arrest them and produce them in court till Jan 9.

The prosecution has so far examined over 10 witnesses in the case.

According to the prosecution, the accused was a guard of the judicial officer and over time they fell in love and the magistrate married him after getting a divorce from her first husband in July 2005.

After the marriage the woman demanded Khula (separation) from her husband because he used to suspect that she was cheating on him.

On Sept 3, 2005 the accused allegedly killed her at their house by covering her face with a pillow and her body was found hanging from the ceiling fan.

A case (FIR No.253/05) was registered against the accused under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of a brother of the deceased.