Mumbai attacks case: Defence lawyers oppose 'video-link' trial

Defence lawyers in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case on Wednesday opposed the plea before a Pakistani anti- terrorism court to hold the trial of?the seven accused through a video-link or allow witnesses to submit their recorded statements.

Lahore: Defence lawyers in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case on Wednesday opposed the plea before a Pakistani anti- terrorism court to hold the trial of?the seven accused through a video-link or allow witnesses to submit their recorded statements.

In the last hearing, the prosecution lawyers had filed an application in the Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi, requesting it to hold the trial of the accused either through a video- link or allow witnesses to record their statements in a CD to be presented in court.

"Since it is difficult for the witnesses to?appear before the court because of?security concerns,?the court should hold the trial either through a video-link or allow them to submit?their recorded testimony," the prosecution lawyers had said in their application.

They said the seven accused, lodged at the Adaila Jail in Rawalpindi, should also be made part of the proceedings.

Defence lawyers today filed a written reply in the court opposing the plea of the prosecution lawyers.

"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 in their reply.

They strongly opposed the?plea to?submit?recorded statements of witnesses in court.

"How can?the court trust?witnesses statements in a CD form? It can?easily be?tampered with. Therefore, the court should reject the prosecution's plea in this regard,"?the defence lawyers argued.

Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi?Judge Attiquer Rehman adjourned the?hearing till September 24.

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

Before today, the hearing of the case has been adjourned for eight times in a row.

Lashkar-e-Taiba 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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