Pak court reserves verdict on Lakhvi`s plea

Last Updated: Monday, October 17, 2011 - 23:39

Lahore: A Pakistani court today reserved its
verdict on a petition filed by Lashkar-e-Toiba commander
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with masterminding the Mumbai
attacks, seeking the transfer of his trial from an
anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi to Lahore.

The petition was heard by Lahore High Court Chief Justice
Ijaz Chaudhry, who reserved his verdict after hearing
arguments from both sides.

Lakhvi`s counsel Khwaja Sultan sought the transfer of the
case on the plea of "unfair trail and security reasons".

He said the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi was not
working independently as the government was allegedly
influencing the case because of "Indian pressure".

In his petition, Lakhvi also expressed his lack of trust
in anti-terrorism court Judge Shahid Rafique.

He further said a contempt of court application had been
moved against Interior Minister Rehman Malik for having said
that a judicial commission had been formed to visit India even
before the anti-terrorism court had allowed the formation of
the panel.

Sultan said the Federal Investigation Agency had filed an
application in the anti-terrorism court about despatching the
judicial commission to India and completed its arguments on
the issue while the defence counsel were yet to present their
arguments on behalf of Lakhvi and the other accused.

He contended that Malik`s statement was an attempt to
give the impression that the government was "controlling or
influencing the judicial proceedings".

Sultan said the anti-terrorism court had dropped the
contempt proceedings against Malik merely on the basis of a
clarification from the prosecution counsel.

Last year, former Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja
Muhammad Sharif had declined Lakhvi?s application for
transferring his trial from Rawalpindi to Lahore.

At that time, Lakhvi had contended that his life was in
danger as personnel of "Indian secret agencies" were roaming
in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Lakhvi and six other have been charged with involvement
in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Their trial has been marred by controversy and numerous
delays for technical reasons.

PTI



First Published: Monday, October 17, 2011 - 23:39

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