Star News exclusive: witness who absolved Sarabjit threatened

Salim Shaukat, the prime prosecution witness in the case against Sarabjit Singh was threatened in Lahore, Pakistan and warned off speaking with the media. Salim, who lost his father in a bomb blast in Lahore over a decade ago, was a crucial link in the prosecutions case against Sarabjit Singh.

Earlier, in an exclusive interview to STAR News, Salim had made the sensational disclosure that he had never seen Sarabjit Singh and that his statement in a Pakistani court had been tutored by the Pakistani police.

The disclosure had considerably strengthened Sarabjit Singh's case, and his lawyer, Rana Abdul Hamid had told STAR News that he intended to present the transcript of the interview as additional evidence in court during appeal.

Sarabjit is currently on death row in the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan.

Speaking on the telephone from Lahore to STAR News, Salim said that he was threatened by two men on a motorcycle, while returning home. The men asked him to identify himself, and then warned him of dire consequences if he continued speaking to the media.

Salim said that the men instructed him "not to give interviews" or to "comment on Sarabjit's guilt or innocence".

Salim told STAR News, that after being threatened, he has been "feeling scared" and that he has "just been sitting at home". Salim told STAR News that he was a "poor man, with a family to take care of" and that he "didn't know what to do or say now".

Salim added that he got a good look at the two men on the motorcycle; however, he didn't recognize them. Salim said that his family and the people at his house were all worried about his safety.

When probed by STAR News, Salim maintained that he would repeat his statement in court, if the government provided him with adequate protection.

He said, "I am a poor and decent man. If my safety is guaranteed, I will speak the truth in court."


The telephonic interview of Salim Shaukhat was broadcast on STAR News on the 6th of September, 2005


STAR NEWS, the first Indian news channel, is a joint venture between ABP TV

- a 100 % subsidiary of ABP Pvt. Ltd. - and STAR India Pvt. Ltd., two of the biggest brands in Indian media. The Channel is best defined by a fair and balanced approach that combines prompt reporting with insightful analysis of news and current affairs. Living upto its motto of "Aapko Rakhe Aagey', STAR NEWS is a people's channel that focuses on relevant news in a cutting-edge format. Since its conception, the Channel has grown to command a viewership of over 20 million Indian homes. Today, STAR NEWS is available in the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia, Central Asia, UK, USA and Australia, making it the first and only Global Indian News Channel.

For further information, please contact:

Tanmana Rath / Anand Deora

Vaishnavi Corporate Communications

Tel: 011 52393500 / Fax: 011 2461 0567

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