Don’t use Kasab`s statement against me: Lakhvi
Last Updated: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 23:16
Lahore: Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, facing trial with six others for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, has filed a petition in Pakistan's Supreme Court seeking acquittal on the ground that the prosecution has no evidence against him barring Ajmal Kasab's "retracted" confession.

The petition was filed by Lakhvi's counsel in the Lahore Registry of the Supreme Court yesterday. The petition asked the apex court to bar the prosecution from using Kasab's confession to Indian authorities in the trial in the Rawalpindi-based anti-terror court.

The petition also sought Lakhvi's acquittal on the ground that the Lahore High Court had ruled on March 9 that the anti-terror court could not use Kasab's statement, the LeT commander's counsel Khwaja Sultan told agency.

Sultan said he expected the Supreme Court to take up the petition on April 13 or 14.

The lawyer claimed the prosecution had not levelled "any allegation" against Lakhvi about his "connection or interaction" with any of the co-accused and persons allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.

"The investigation of the case is based on the alleged confession of Kasab, who is in Indian custody," Sultan said, noting that the statement had also been retracted by Kasab.

Though three chargesheets were filed by the prosecution, no witness had supported Kasab's statement and Lakhvi was not "accused of giving training to the terrorists involved in the attack", he added.

"The prosecution, in its challan (chargesheet), maintained that the petitioner was commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba but could not establish his link with the Mumbai attacks' accused. Under article 43 of Qanoon-i-Shahadat Order (Pakistan's law of testiomy), a confessional statement of an accused can only be used against his co-accused if they are being tried jointly," Sultan said.

He further claimed that Kasab's name was never mentioned in the 'challans' submitted against Lakhvi.

"Therefore the statement of Kasab cannot be used against Lakhvi," he said.

Lakhvi and six others ? Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum ? are being tried for planning and facilitating the 26/11 attacks.

The prosecution has said that Lakhvi's lawyers are causing "unnecessary hindrances" in the trial by filing petitions in higher courts.

The hearings in the anti-terror court have often been affected by these petitions.


First Published: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 23:16

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