Rawalpindi - The US lobbyist Mark Siegel, the key prosecution witness in Benazir Bhutto (BB) assassination case, would be available for cross-examination on January 20 in Pakistan Embassy, Washington, through video link, a Foreign Office representative told an anti-terrorism court yesterday. The court also reserved its verdict on plea of defence lawyer of summoning a witness again for cross-examination and adjourned hearing in the high profile case till December 7.

Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Number 1 Special Judge Rai Muhammad Ayub Marth took up BB murder case at Adiala Jail when a representative of Foreign Office appeared before the court and apprised the judge that Mark Siegel, the US author and key witness in BB assassination case, would arrive at Pakistan Embassy, Washington, on January 20, 2016 for cross-examination through video link. The judge ordered the representative to make final arrangements for cross-examination of the key prosecution witness in Washington and submit a report before the court in this regard.

Meanwhile, the court reserved its verdict on the application of defence lawyer Malik Jawad Khalid in which he pleaded the court to re-summon the prosecution witness Sub-Inspector Ashfaq Ahmed for cross-examination. The court issued notice to another prosecution witness CTD Lahore Inspector Tariq Ilyas Kiyani to appear before court on the next date of hearing for cross-examination.

In the courtroom, former CPO Syed Saud Aziz and former SP Rawal Division Khurram Shehzad, who are accused in BB murder case, were also present.

Chaudhry Azhar Ali, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Public Prosecutor, when contacted, confirmed the development saying he opposed the application of defense lawyer of summoning the prosecution witness again for cross-examination. He said that so far statements of 60 witnesses have been recorded in the case.