RAWALPINDI - A key prosecution witness in the former premier Benazir Bhutto murder case became hostile to his testimony in an Anti Terrorism Court which held hearing into the case here at Adyala Jail on Thursday.

The ATC also declared the prosecution witness hostile to his testimony. However, the statements of two other prosecution witnesses have been made part of the court record.

The Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Number 1 Special Judge Pervaiz Ismail Joya took up BB murder case at heavily guarded Adyala Jail during which three prosecution witnesses former SSP (Operations) Yasin Farooq, Deputy Director (DD) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Nauman Ashraf Bodla and Assistant Director Qamar Zaman appeared before the court to record their statements.

However, the key prosecution witness former SSP (Operations) Yasin Farooq became hostile to his testimony he submitted before a magistrate in Islamabad in 2011. Nonetheless, the two other prosecution witnesses recorded their statements before the court in BB murder case.

FIA Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, meanwhile, submitted an application before the court requesting the judge to declare the witness as hostile. The ATC Special Judge Pervaiz Ismail Joya declared Yasin Farooq as hostile and allowed the FIA special public prosecution to cross examine the prosecution witness.

Chaudhry Azhar, while arguing before the court, said that the prosecution witness SSP former (Operations)Yasin Farooq had submitted a testimony before a magistrate on 1/11/2011 in Islamabad under section 164 CrPc that he was assigned the task to secure BB during rally in Liaquat Bagh by the then CPO Syed Saud Aziz. Azhar stated that SSP also said in his statement that SP Security Ashfaq Anwar was responsible for escorting BB from Faizabad to electioneering campaign at Liaquat Bagh under the cover of Elite Force and then taken her back to Faizabad and handed over her to Islamabad but CPO Syed Saud Aziz sent SP Ashfaq Anwar to Koral to deal with another incident that took place that day. The SSP stated in testimony that BB was surrounded by her supporters soon after she left the venue in her vehicle. In the meanwhile, BB appeared from the sunroof of her vehicle after which she was gunned down by an attacker and then suicide bomber also blew himself up. FIA Prosecutor told the court the SSP also mentioned in the statement that he after hearing noise of bomb and bullets came out from Liaquat Bagh and saw that SP Ashfaq Anwar and Elite Force commandoes were not present on their duty. The FIA Prosecutor told the court that SSP also admitted feeble security arrangements that led to death of BB in Liaquat Bagh.

After completion of arguments of FIA prosecutor, the defence lawyer Malik Raffique grilled the prosecution witness during which former SSP (Operations) Yasin Farooq claimed that police had provided adequate security to BB on December 27, 2007 and had also warned her chief security officer Maj (Retd) Imtiaz to not allow BB to come out from her vehicle. "Had BB avoided her appearance from the sunroof, she might have been saved from the lethal attack," former SSP Yasin Farooq stated.

On this FIA Prosecutor confronted the prosecution witness and requested the court that the witness has become hostile and the court should declare him as hostile. ATC Number 1 Special Judge Pervaiz Ismail Joya accepted the plea of Ch Azhar while declaring the prosecution witness as hostile. The court adjourned the hearing till February 2, 2015 in BB murder case.

Talking to The Nation, FIA Special Public Prosecutor Ch Zulfiqar confirmed that the former SSP (Operations) Yasin Farooq has become hostile in BB murder case and court also declared him as hostile on his application. He said that he also pleaded the court to take legal action against the prosecution witness for detracting from his earlier statement. He claimed that former SSP (Operations) Yasin Farooq during cross examination said that he voluntarily submitted testimony before a magistrate in Islamabad on 11/1/2011.