26/11: Pak judicial panel arrives in India today

A Pakistani judicial panel is due to arrive in the country on Wednesday on a four-day visit as part of the probe into the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2012, 09:39 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A Pakistani judicial panel is due to arrive in the country on Wednesday on a four-day visit as part of the probe into the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

During its visit, the commission will record the statements of key officials related to the 26/11 Mumbai carnage probe, an important step Islamabad says will quicken the trial of the Mumbai terror accused.

The judicial commission will arrive in Delhi first from Lahore before going to Mumbai.

The commission includes two prosecutors from Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, five defence lawyers, and officials from the Interior and Foreign Ministries.

The commission was initially scheduled to visit India between February 1 and 10 but the visit got delayed due to various reasons, including questions that were raised about its constitution.

The panel will be in Mumbai on Thursday to record the statements of Ramesh Mahale, an investigating officer, and RV Sawant Waghule, the magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of the lone surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab.

Kasab was among 10 Pakistanis who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and unleashed a mayhem in the city that killed 166 people and injured several others.

The judicial panel will also question Nair Hospital Medical Officer (forensic department) Shailesh Mohit and state government-run JJ Hospital`s Medical Officer (forensic department) Ganesh Nitukar, who conducted the autopsies of the terrorists and victims. Special Public Prosecutor in the 26/11 terror attack trial Ujjwal Nikam would accompany Indian officers to be questioned by the Pakistani panel.

Waghule and Mahale have been summoned on March 16, said sources. The statements of the doctors will be recorded on March 17.

The panel will present the statements of the four Indians related to the probe before an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, which is conducting trial against seven suspects who are currently in Pakistani custody for their alleged role in the 26/11 carnage that includes the Lashkar-e-Toiba`s Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind behind planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks.

Islamabad has contended that the charges against seven LeT militants lodged in a Pakistani jail were based on Kasab`s statement and hence the magistrate and the investigating officer`s statements were necessary to furnish before the anti-terror court.

(With PTI/IANS inputs)