Mumbai: Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab on Monday claimed photographs showing him and his slain companion Abu Ismael at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and Cama
Hospital during the 26/11 attacks were morphed.
He also denied his presence at CST and Cama Hospital -
targets of the attacks.
"Kasab was not at CST or Cama Hospital when the places
were attacked by terrorists and his photographs produced in
the trial court were morphed," lawyer Amin Solkar told
justices Ranjana Desai and RV More of the Bombay High Court
who are hearing arguments on confirmation of death sentence
awarded to him.
Kasab did not appear today on the screen put up in the
court for video conference link to enable him hear the
proceedings from Arthur Road jail where he is lodged.
Solkar pointed out that media photographer Sebastian
D`souza, who claimed to have clicked Kasab`s pictures at CST,
had admitted in cross examination that photographs could be
morphed although he stuck to his version that photographs of
Kasab and Ismael produced in the court were original frames.
Solkar argued that Sebastian had not given the memory
card of his camera to police during investigation. Instead he
took out a CD of some photographs and got them developed in a
private studio at Fort area of South Mumbai. Sebastian neither
produced receipt of the studio nor did he give the name of the
shop or owner.
The prosecution also did not examine the studio owner
to prove that Sebastian had given them memory card and the
photographs produced in the court are the same ones which were
developed in the studio.
Justice Desai observed that the prosecution should
have examined more witnesses. "When you can examine 654
witnesses in the trial, why not a few more," she asked.
Solkar further argued that Sebastian had told the
trial court he saw Kasab from a distance of about 100 feet.
"It is difficult to see the features of a person from
such a distance. Sebastian had identified Kasab in the court
and this should not be believed."
The other photographer, Sriram Vernekar, had also seen
Kasab from about 500 feet. He too had identified Kasab in the
court. Such identification was therefore "doubtful" and should
be discarded, Solkar argued.
In the court, two witnesses of Cama hospital incident
had identified slain terrorist Ismael in the photographs
showed to them but they did not identify Kasab who was present
in the dock at that time, Solkar argued.
The bench observed that the prosecution should have
been careful more particularly in a case of this nature.
Solkar argued that witness have told the court that
Kasab and Ismael were at CST at 9.50 pm.
"It is also the case of the prosecution that at 10 pm
the duo attacked Cama Hospital. How could they reach the
hospital from CST in just 10 minutes," he asked.