TITLE=PAK / SHARIF / L
INTRO: Defense lawyers for Pakistan's ousted Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif have boycotted the criminal
trial to protest the killing of one of their
colleagues -- shot dead in a daylight attack Friday.
As Correspondent Scott Anger reports, their failure to
appear has delayed the prosecution's final arguments
in the case against Mr. Sharif and six others accused
of hijacking, attempted murder and kidnapping.
TEXT: The judge in the special anti-terrorism court
has adjourned proceedings until Tuesday, after Nawaz
Sharif told the court he had not been informed of his
lawyer's move and asked for time to consult them.
Iqbal Raad -- one of the key members of the defense
team -- was shot dead in his office by unidentified
gunmen in the southern Pakistani city, Karachi, where
the trial is being held. Police say no arrests have
been made and no one has claimed responsibility for
Lead defense lawyer Khawaja Sultan says the murder has
highlighted the vulnerability of the defense lawyers,
none of whom live or work in the country's most
In Karachi, we feel out of sorts. Without any
protection or security, we can be ambushed anywhere
from the hotel to the courtroom.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the sectarian,
ethnic and political violence, which has plagued
Karachi during the last five years.
Because of the security concerns, the defense says it
has asked for a change in venue and would like the
trial to continue in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
The chief prosecutor in the case says the government
is prepared to provide security to the defense
Mr. Raad's murder comes two weeks before President
Clinton stops in Pakistan during his planned trip to
South Asia. White House officials say there are no
plans to announce any change to Mr. Clinton's
itinerary, which includes a visit to Bangladesh and a
five-day stop in India. (SIGNED)
NEB/SA / WD
13-Mar-2000 07:11 AM EDT (13-Mar-2000 1211 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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