Kasab`s lawyer pulled up in 26/11 case for misconduct
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Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2009, 00:04
Mumbai: The lawyer for Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab was on Thursday slapped with a notice by the Mumbai attack trial court to explain why his services should not be terminated for "misconduct" on a day when the prosecution was due to wind up its case.

The action came after Kasab's lawyer Abbas Kazmi told the court that he did not care about affidavits of witnesses filed by the prosecution inviting the ire of the judge who called his remarks "irresponsible". Kazmi was appointed by the court.

Kazmi made the statement after Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam informed Judge M L Tahaliyani that he desired to file 340 affidavits of formal witnesses and that copies of 233 such documents have already been served on the defence lawyer.

When the judge asked Kazmi whether he wanted to cross examine any of these witnesses, including victims' families, doctors, fire brigade personnel and claimants of bodies, the defence lawyer said he would declare his strategy after prosecutor Nikam files these affidavits in the court.

Nikam said he had informed the court in his opening address on May 8 that he would be filing such affidavits.

However, Kazmi said Nikam had not made such disclosure in his opening address, prompting the judge to say that he (Kazmi) was telling lies.

"This is a serious matter and you are telling lies. I now have to consider whether to continue you as a defence lawyer. You have been appointed by the court to defend the accused and it is your duty to cooperate in the interest of justice", judge Tahaliyani observed.

A visibly angry Nikam told reporters, "We were to wind up our case today after examining 271 witnesses. The last witness was to step in the box today, but defence lawyer's stand has delayed this." The trial commenced on May 8.


First Published: Friday, November 27, 2009, 00:04

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