Pakistan court adjourns Mumbai attacks trial

Last Updated: Monday, November 16, 2009 - 17:18

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court
on Monday adjourned till November 23 the trial of seven suspects,
including Lashker-e-Toiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman
Lakhvi, arrested for alleged involvement in the Mumbai
attacks.

"The proceedings were adjourned till November 23 as the
Punjab bar association elections are scheduled for Saturday,"
Shahbaz Rajput, one of the defence lawyers, told a news agency.

Rajput said the Federal Investigation Agency had provided
defence lawyers some of the documents that the accused had
sought in applications filed with the anti-terrorism court.

Among these documents was the statement made to Indian
authorities by Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested
for the Mumbai attacks.

"However, we have not received all the documents we had
sought. This may apparently take some time," Rajput said.

Sources said the accused have sought details of the
chargesheet framed against them by the FIA and other
documents.

The last hearing of the matter, scheduled for November
14, was not held as Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan, who is
hearing the case, was on leave.

The trial is being conducted at the heavily guarded
Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons.

The court has directed lawyers and others associated with
the trial not to discuss details with the media and
journalists are barred from covering the proceedings.

There have been indications that defence lawyers plan to
focus on Kasab`s role in the attacks and possibly make a
request for him to be brought to Pakistan to be cross-examined
in the anti-terrorism court.

Diplomatic sources said they believed such a move could
delay the trial.

The seven suspects – Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama,
Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas
Anjum – have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

They have been accused of training and providing
financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications
gear to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai nearly a year
ago.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, November 16, 2009 - 17:18

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