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Saturday

Murdered Pakistani Lawyer Received Threats During Sharif Trial

Aired March 11, 2000 - 2:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: In Karachi, lawyers for Pakistan's deposed prime minister say they'll boycott their client's hijacking trial unless it is relocated.

CNN's John Raedler reports on the killing of a defense lawyer on Nawaz Sharif's legal team.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN RAEDLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "God is great," the imam and mourners say as they pray over the body of prominent Pakistani lawyer Iqbal Raad. Amid the mourners, one of Raad's sons hangs his head.

The body is then taken from the mosque for burial, just 24 hours after Raad's murder. A lawyer for ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Raad was gunned down at his office desk. Ironically, the police, who failed to protect him in life, protect his funeral procession.

(on camera): It now emerges that during the still-ongoing trial of Nawaz Sharif, Raad had received threats, both in words and in actions.

(voice-over): A friend tells of a conversation he had with Raad the day before the murder.

PARVAZ A. KHAN, FRIEND OF KILLED ATTORNEY: When we was walking together, he says, someone is calling me and bugging the hell out of me. That's what he said.

RAEDLER: A fellow member of the Sharif defense team tells CNN that Raad's office was recently ransacked.

NEHAL HASHMI, SHARIF DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And it was a signal to Iqbal Raad that, look, your office has been ransacked and might be tomorrow you will be ransacked. And it has happened.

RAEDLER: As Raad was being buried, it was still not known who killed him and why. If the assassination was related to the Sharif trial, the remaining members of the defense team say they are not intimidated.

SALEEM ZIA, SHARIF DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The defense counsels of Mohammad Nawaz Sharif will stand boldly and will defend him all the way, regardless of the consequences.

RAEDLER: The only definite link between Raad's murder and the Sharif trial is that when it resumes on Monday, the coordinating lawyer for the defense will not be present.

John Raedler, CNN, Karachi, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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