Sarabjit's murder case: Court summons all witnesses

Sarabjit's murder case: Court summons all witnesses

Sarabjit Singh

A court in Pakistan on Wednesday summoned all the witnesses next month in the murder case of Indian national Sarabjit Singh, who was killed by his fellow prisoners in 2013.

Two Pakistani death row prisoners - Amir Sarfraz alias Tamba and Mudassar - in May 2013 attacked Sarabjit, 49, in the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore and killed him.

Lahore's additional district and sessions judge Muhammad Moin Khokhar, during the hearing of the case, expressed anger as none of the prosecuting witnesses appeared before the court to record their statement.

"Issuing notices to all the witnesses in the case for next hearing on October 5, the judge directed the prosecutor to ensure their presence (in the court)," a court official told PTI after the hearing.

He said that so far, two witnesses of the Kot Lakhpat Jail had recorded their statements.

"One of the witnesses in the previous hearing had told the court that Sarabjit Singh was brought to the Services Hospital in a critical condition. I wanted to record Singh's statement but the doctors stopped him, terming his condition very serious," the official said.

In the previous hearings, the judge had also admonished the jail authorities for not cooperating with the court.

A one-man judicial commission of Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore High Court had initially investigated Sarabjit's murder case before the trial kicked off in the sessions court.

Naqvi recorded the statements of some 40 witnesses in the case and submitted its report to the government which is yet to make its findings public.

The one-man commission had also issued notices to Sarabjit's relatives through the foreign ministry to record their statements and produce any evidence they had regarding his death. However, Sarabjit's family did not record their statements, the officials had said.

Tamba and Mudassar, in their statements to the commission, had confessed to the crime and said they killed Sarabjit as they wanted to avenge the killing of people in Lahore and Faisalabad in bomb blasts allegedly carried out by the Indian national.

Both the alleged killers of Sarabjit were not present in the sessions court on Wednesday because of security reasons, according to their counsel Advocate Usman Waheed.

Sarabjit had been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in 1990 in the country's eastern Punjab province.

His family, however, said: "He was the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border." 

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