Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terror court
conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with planning
and facilitating the Mumbai attacks today asked the government
to respond to LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi`s bail plea
by July 17.
Lakhvi, the operations chief of the banned
Lashker-e-Taiba, had filed an application for bail during the
last hearing of the Mumbai attacks case on July 10.
Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan took
up the application today.
The judge directed the government to file its response to
Lakhvi`s application by July 17, when the court will take up
the matter again.
Lakhvi`s lawyer Khwaja Sultan told that his client
has sought bail due to the inordinate delay in the trial.
He contended that no solid evidence had been presented
against Lakhvi in the 19 months that he had been in custody.
The trial of the seven suspects has been mired in
controversy and delays over the past few months.
In recent weeks, proceedings have been stalled by the
prosecution`s efforts to gain access to Ajmal Kasab, a
Pakistani national sentenced to death by an Indian court for
his role in the Mumbai attacks, and Fahim Ansari, an Indian
who was acquitted.
During the last hearing on July 10, the prosecution had
objected to the bail plea filed by Lakhvi, saying the court
should not take it up till Pakistani authorities gained access
to Kasab and Ansari.