26/11: Pak court records statement of FIA officer

Last Updated: Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 19:30

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court
conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with
involvement in the Mumbai attacks on Saturday recorded the statement
of an official who registered the First Information Report
against the accused.

Sardar Muhammad Azam, who was a Deputy Director of the
Federal Investigation Agency when he registered the FIR, gave
the court details of the procedure during proceedings held
behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, sources said.

The court adjourned the case till November 29 after
recording the official`s statement, defence counsel Khwaja
Sultan said.

The statements of some other prosecution witnesses will be
recorded at the next hearing.

Judge Shahid Rafique is conducting the trial in Adiala
Jail for security reasons.

Proceedings in the case recently got underway following a
delay of several weeks. Only a handful of over 160 prosecution
witnesses have testified so far.

The case had been held up due to a petition filed in
Lahore High Court by Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman
Lakhvi, the main accused in the case.

Lakhvi had sought the transfer of the case from Rawalpindi
to Lahore, saying he would no confidence in Judge Rafique.
The High Court dismissed the petition on October 31.

In a related development, Interior Minister Rehman Malik
said almost all legal formalities have been completed for
sending a judicial commission to India to interview key
persons linked to the probe into the 2008 Mumbai terrorist
attacks.

Pakistan is currently waiting for India`s reply to a query
about the venue for holding proceedings of the judicial
commission, Malik said.

"The commission will be sent to India within a week of
receiving the awaited letter (from India)," he said.

Malik had earlier said that it was necessary for the
commission to visit India and interview a magistrate and
police officers involved in the investigation of the Mumbai
attacks.

He said the testimony of the Indian officials is needed to
proceed with the prosecution of the Pakistani suspects.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 19:26

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