Lakhvi lawyers ask court to disregard Kasab`s statement

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 15:02

Lahore: A Pakistani anti-terror court has
been told to disregard the statement of the sole surviving
Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Kasab, by lawyers defending LeT
commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, as they claimed it was
inadmissible under Pakistani laws.

Arguing in the court, the lawyers said copies of Kasab`s
statement were "uncertified and unattested" and could not be
used to frame charges against their client and six other men
accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
"The said documents are neither certified copies of the
original nor can be used or proved under provisions of
Sub-Article 5 of Article 89 of Qanoon-e-Shahdat (Pakistan`s
law of testimony)," said the application, a copy of which was
accessed by agency.

An application containing their objections was submitted
yesterday to anti-terror court Judge Malik Mohammad Akram
Awan, who is conducting the trial of the seven accused in
Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

"Kasab is not being tried jointly with the petitioner and
his co-accused, thereby his statement is not admissible," it
added.

During an earlier hearing, the defence lawyers also
demanded that Kasab should be brought to Pakistan to face
trial with the seven accused.

The court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow after
hearing arguments of the defence and prosecution.

The application by defence counsel Khwaja Sultan and Sher
Afgan Asadi, said the prosecution had shown "prejudice"
towards the accused by using documents provided by Indian
authorities for framing charges against the suspects.

"The name of Ajmal Kasab has neither been shown in the
list of the accused who have been sent up for trial nor in the
ones not sent up for trial or are absconding," it said.

"The prosecution has not cited any witness to prove the
so-called confessional statement of Kasab, not even Mrs R V
Sawanth Waguly, the lady magistrate who had recorded it, and
Shree B L Waghmare, chief metropolitan magistrate, who had
deputed Waguly, is not cited as prosecution witness as per
requirement of the relevant law," it said.

Lakhvi`s counsel further contended that the prosecution
had tried to get Kasab declared a proclaimed offender in
Pakistan by obtaining warrants for his arrest though it knew
that he was in the judicial custody of an Indian court where
charges had already been framed against him and he was "not
wilfully avoiding arrest".
"The process of procuring the presence of Kasab for trial
before the court is still inconclusive and the only way to
procure his attendance is through the Pakistan government
demanding his custody from Indian authority for the purpose of
investigation and trial," the application said.

The lawyers claimed the prosecution had "deliberately"
concealed Kasab`s decision to retract any statement said to
have been made by him.

"He (Kasab) had also not pleaded guilty to the charges
framed against him and that judicial findings have yet to be
given even by the Indian court," the application said.

Lakhvi is a resident of Renala Khurd in Okara district of
Punjab province, while Kasab belongs to Faridkot town in the
same district.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 15:02

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