Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks today issued summons to six witnesses for selling a boat and other equipment to the accused.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, who is conducting the trial behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons, issued the summons to Hamza Bin Tariq, Muhammad Ali, Mohammad Saifullah, Umer Draz, Saqib Iqbal and Atiq Ahmed, prosecutors said.
"The accused had bought the boat, an engine and related equipment from these private witnesses," chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali said after the hearing.
He said since Indian authorities had not yet responded to Pakistan`s request to allow a Pakistani judicial commission to cross-examine and record the statements of four witnesses in Mumbai, the prosecution today requested the judge to proceed with the trial.
"There has already been a considerable delay in the case and the court should continue the trial proceedings," Ali told the judge during proceedings.
Prosecutors also requested the court to take up their application to conduct hearings every day.
The judge subsequently adjourned the case till April 6.
The Pakistani judicial commission`s visit to India has already been delayed by several weeks over the issue of Islamabad seeking an assurance that members of the panel will be allowed to cross-examine witnesses.
The commission is set to make a second visit to Mumbai to record the statements of four witnesses because the anti-terrorism court had rejected a report submitted after its first visit on the ground that the panel was not allowed to conduct any cross-examination.
The trial of the seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, has progressed at a snail`s pace due to repeated adjournments and various technical delays.
They have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in November 2008.