26/11 trial: Pak court tells prosecution to present witnesses

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the trial of seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case today directed the prosecution lawyers to present witnesses in the hearing next week.

Lahore: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the trial of seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case today directed the prosecution lawyers to present witnesses in the hearing next week.

The court, however, reserved verdict on the application of the?prosecution lawyers that the trial should be held through a video-link or allow the witnesses to submit their recorded statements in the court.

Sources told PTI that?Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi Judge Attiquer Rehman reserved the verdict after the?defence lawyers today completed the arguments against the plea to hold the trial through a video-link or?allow the witnesses to record their statements in a CD to be presented in the court.

They said the judge, however, directed the prosecution lawyers to present the witnesses on next hearing. "On next hearing witnesses in the case must be presented in the court," the sources quoted the judge as having said.

He adjourned the hearing till October 1.

In the last hearing, the defence lawyers had strongly opposed the prosecution's plea.

"This is a sensitive and?in camera trial. The court proceedings will be accessible to many if it is allowed to be held through a video-link," the defence lawyers said.

"How can?the court trust?witnesses statements in a CD form? It can?easily be?tampered with and in no way will be admissible in the court. Therefore, the court?should reject the prosecution's plea in this regard,"?the lawyers argued.

Earlier, the prosecution lawyers had drawn the court's attention to?ensure their and witnesses security in the face of threats they received allegedly from the Jamaat-ud-Dawah activists.

LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Anjum have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks in India's financial capital that killed 166 people in November, 2008.

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