Policemen stand in front of Adiala jail during the trial proceedings of Qadri. PHOTO: AFP

RAWALPINDI: The formal trial of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of former governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, began on Saturday, as the prosecution produced police and medical officers before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) to record their statements.

During the course of hearing held at Adiala Jail, public prosecutor Saiful Malook was present before the court along with Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic) Dr Muhammad Arshad, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Kohsar police station Iftikhar Ali, and constable Abdul Raheem and recorded their statements.

According to the CMO’s statement, Taseer was killed instantly after being hit by at least 36 bullets.

The governor was shot from behind from a distance of four or five feet, the CMO added.

Shahryar Taseer, son of Salmaan Taseer, had lodged the FIR at the Kohsar police station, said ASI Ali in his statement.

After recording their statements, the court adjourned the case till March 5.

Malik Rafiq and Shujaur Rehman appeared on Qadri’s behalf while Qadri’s father, Bashir Awan, and brother Dilpazir also attended the court proceedings.

Earlier, the police submitted a three-page-long charge-sheet, in which Qadri was booked under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act and Section 302/109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Hundreds of Qadri’s supporters staged a rally outside the jail premises to express solidarity with him.

Qadri was formally indicted by the ATC on February 14.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.


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