Islamabad: A prosecution witness on Saturday told
the Pakistani court conducting the trial of seven suspects in
the Mumbai attack case that the voice of one of the accused
had matched with that of a handler who directed the terrorists
involved in the assault.
Deposing before anti-terrorism court Judge Shahid
Rafique, Inspector Nisar Ahmed Jadoon of the Federal
Investigation Agency also provided details of raids conducted
on Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in Karachi where the attackers had
trained before the attacks in November 2008.
Jadoon said the voice of an accused had been matched with
that of a handler who directed the 10 attackers in Mumbai from
a camp in Pakistan.
Defence lawyer Khwaja Sultan, however, questioned how the
prosecution had matched the voice as the FIA did not have
voice samples of the seven suspects.
Pakistani laws do not allow authorities to obtain voice
samples without the permission of suspects.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has contended that this is
the reason why Pakistan has been unable to hand over voice
samples of suspects sought by India.
During his deposition, Jadoon told the judge that the
banned LeT had set up three training camps in Karachi that
were raided by an FIA team after the Mumbai attacks.
None of the accused was present in the camps at the time
of the raids, Jadoon was quoted as saying by sources.
No incriminating evidence, including weapons,
bomb-making materials or documents, was found in the camps,
Jadoon told the court.
During questioning by defence lawyers, Jadoon said some
equipment for physical fitness had been found at the camps.
Defence lawyer Sultan then contended that the FIA was
trying to pass off private residences with physical fitness
gear as training camps.
The prosecution told the judge it wanted to present
five more witnesses and the judge said this could be done at
the next hearing on August 27.
Earlier reports have said the prosecution witnesses
include forensic experts and FIA officials who probed the
In a related development, defence lawyers today decided
not to press the court to act on their application for
contempt of court proceedings against Interior Minister Rehman
Malik for announcing that a judicial commission would visit
India in connection with the Mumbai attacks even before the
court had decided the matter.
Defence lawyer Khwaja Sultan said that taking up the
matter against Malik could delay proceedings in the case in
the anti-terrorism court.
"We did not press the judge for contempt of court
proceedings against the Interior Minister as we have already
faced a considerable delay in the proceedings," Sultan told
PTI after the hearing held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail
The judge, however, directed prosecutors to file the
minister`s response to a notice issued to him at the last
hearing on August 10.
The notice was issued after defence lawyers submitted a
petition that contended Malik had committed contempt of court
by stating in a media interview last month that the Pakistani
commission would go to India within days, even though the
court had not decided on the formation of the commission.
The judge also asked prosecutors to submit a complete
record of the correspondence between the Indian and Pakistani
governments on the issue of the Pakistani commission visiting
India to interview key persons associated with the Mumbai
attacks, including the police officer who led the
investigation into the incident and the magistrate who
recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving
Seven Pakistani suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba
commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, have been accused of planning,
facilitating and financing the attacks in India’s financial
hub that killed 166 people.
The trial has been marred by repeated delays and only
two out of over 160 prosecution witnesses have testified so
Shahid Rafique is the fifth judge to hear the case since
proceedings began in early 2009.