Not expecting early conclusion of 26/11 case: Lakhvi's lawyer

The Islamabad High Court last April had ordered the anti-terrorism court (ATC) to conclude the case in two months.

PTI| Updated: Feb 04, 2016, 19:38 PM IST

Lahore: The Pakistani lawyer of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Thursday said he does not expect an early conclusion of the case as a number of witnesses still have to record their statements in court.

The Islamabad High Court last April had ordered the anti-terrorism court (ATC) to conclude the case in two months against seven accused including LeT operations commander Lakhvi.

"Nine months passed by since the court set a deadline (to conclude the case) but the conclusion of the case is not in sight," Lakhvi's lawyer Raja Rizwan Abbasi told PTI, adding it was up to the prosecution to ensure that the remaining witnesses record their statements in the trial court.

To a question whether any time frame about the conclusion of the case could be given, Abbasi said "No".

Meanwhile, two witnesses appeared in yesterday's hearing of the ATC held at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

"A government official and an employee of a business and engineering firm that sold engines to one of the suspects recorded their statements in court," a court official said.

The trial court adjourned the hearing till February 10.

The Pakistani firm had sold eight Japanese Yamaha engines to one of the Mumbai attack facilitators who supplied them to the terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, for reaching Mumbai in a small boat.

Earlier, the company's general manager said his firm had sold the engines to absconding accused Amjad Khan, a shadowy LeT organiser and financier from Karachi.

The Yamaha engines were used by Kasab and the other terrorists to power their boat to reach Mumbai.

Khan and nine other co-accused, said to be either trainers or facilitators of the terrorists who launched the attack in Mumbai, had been declared "proclaimed offenders or fugitives" by the anti-terrorism court.

Khan, who figured in majority of dossiers provided to Pakistan by India, allegedly played a key role in arranging and providing funds to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai.

20 suspects were named in a charge sheet filed in the anti-terrorism court in 2009.

While 56-year-old Lakhvi is currently free on bail at an "undisclosed location" in the country, six other accused - Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - have been lodged in Adiala Jail for over six years in connection with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that killed 166 people.