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26/11 attacks trial in Pak adjourned till March 3

Last Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 20:14

Islamabad: A Pakistani court conducting the
trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai
terror attacks on Saturday adjourned the case till March 3 after
prosecutors informed the judge that preparations had been
completed for sending a judicial commission to India.

Anti-terrorism court Judge Shahid Rafique also heard an
application from the defence lawyers seeking the inquiry
report of the chief investigation officer in India.

"On our request, the court ordered the prosecution to
present the required document in court at the next hearing,"
Khwaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, told PTI.

With preparations for sending the judicial commission to
India underway, it was likely that the panel would leave
Pakistan on March 14, he said.

During the proceedings held behind closed doors, chief
prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali told the court that the
report of the chief investigation officer in Mumbai was yet to
be sought from India.

The judge then questioned how the judicial commission
could go ahead with its visit to India without even studying
the report, sources told PTI.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik recently announced that
the judicial commission would visit India during March 12-22.

The Indian government had earlier asked Pakistan to send
the commission between February 1 and 10. However, the panel
could not go ahead with the visit due to various reasons,
including questions that were raised about its constitution.

The Pakistani commission is scheduled to interview in
India the magistrate who recorded the confession of Ajmal
Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, the police officer who led
the investigation in Mumbai and two doctors who conducted the
autopsies of the terrorists and victims.

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged with
planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166
people in November 2008. However, their trial has stalled over
various technical issues for the past year.

Pakistani prosecutors have said the commission`s visit to
India is necessary to take forward the trial.


First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 20:14
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