DATE=3/13/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAK / SHARIF / L NUMBER=2-260120 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 the attack. 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 violent city. ///SULTAN ACTUALITY/// In Karachi, we feel out of sorts. Without any protection or security, we can be ambushed anywhere from the hotel to the courtroom. ///END ACTUALITY/// 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 lawyers. 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) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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