The judge of the anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks has been changed for the fourth time, with the current incumbent being transferred to another court in Punjab province.
Rana Nisar Ahmed, who had been hearing the Mumbai attacks case since he was appointed judge of Rawalpindi's anti-terrorist court no III in November 2010, was transferred on Saturday.
Ahmed had also been conducting the trial of five suspects charged with involvement in the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.
According to a notification issued by the Lahore high court, Ahmed was appointed as additional district and sessions judge in Shakargarh.
The move came hours after Ahmed issued a permanent arrest warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf for failing to cooperate with investigators probing Bhutto's assassination.
Ahmed also ordered the Federal Investigation Agency to provide a complete record of Musharraf's moveable and immoveable assets for confiscation at the next hearing on June 25.
Ahmed had first issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf in February after investigators declared him an "absconder".
He constantly pushed FIA prosecutors to ensure Musharraf's appearance in court.
Experts said the sudden transfer of Ahmed could affect proceedings in the Mumbai attacks case, as the new judge appointed to conduct the trial will need time to acquaint himself with the details of the complex case.
The trial has been marred by delays and technical hitches since proceedings began in 2009.
At least one of the three judges who previously heard the case was changed after he received threats from militant groups, sources said.