Pak court reserves judgement on Lakhvi`s bail plea

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks reserved its judgement on a bail plea filed by LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2010, 16:02 PM IST

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court
conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with
involvement in the Mumbai attacks on Saturday reserved its judgement on a bail plea filed by LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and is expected to deliver it at the next hearing on August 7.

Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan, who is conducting the
trial within the heavily-guarded Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for
security reasons, reserved his decision on the bail plea after
hearing arguments from the defence lawyers and prosecution.

The prosecution contended that Lakhvi, described by
Pakistani investigators as the mastermind of the Mumbai
carnage, should not be freed as there was adequate evidence
linking him to the attacks.

The defence lawyers argued that the charges framed
against Lakhvi were based on dossiers containing the findings
of investigations by Indian security agencies and claimed that
there was no direct evidence connecting him to the 2008
attacks.

They also said Lakhvi had never faced such allegations
and had a clean "track record."

The defence lawyers also claimed that the case against
Lakhvi and the six other suspects had been built up by
Pakistan due to pressure from India and other foreign
countries.

They noted that the case had dragged on for a year and
eight months and that only two witnesses had testified during
this time.

The prosecution has nearly 200 witnesses and the trial is
expected to go on for a long time. In view of this, Lakhvi
should be freed on bail, the defence lawyers said.

The defence also noted that the prosecution had filed
only three interim chargesheets and is yet to file the final
chargesheet. It cited this as another reason for Lakhvi to be
granted bail.

On the completion of arguments, Judge Awan adjourned the
case to August 7. He is expected to give his decision on
Lakhvi`s bail plea at the next hearing.

Lakhvi and the other suspects have been booked under the
Anti-Terrorism Act, Pakistan Penal Code and a cyber-crimes
law.

They have been charged with planning, financing and
facilitating the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

PTI