Mumbai case adjourned again as witnesses fail to appear



Islamabad: The trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks was adjourned for three weeks today after three prosecution witnesses were unable to appear for cross-examination.

Anti-terrorism court judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, who is conducting the hearing inside Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons, put off the case till February 9, prosecutors and defence lawyers told PTI.

The prosecution witnesses were unable to appear for the hearing as they could not travel from Karachi to Rawalpindi due to the cancellation of flights following unrest in the southern port city over the murder of a politician, sources.

There have been no proceedings in the case for the past four weeks.

At a hearing on December 22, the judge adjourned the case for three weeks at the request of defence lawyers.

On January 12, the case was put off for a week as Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was observing his father's death anniversary.

During today's hearing, three officials of the Federal Investigation Agency and intelligence agencies were to have been cross-examined regarding their testimony about the training of the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.

Officials of the FIA and intelligence agencies had testified during hearings last year about the training of the 10 terrorists in LeT camps in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The officials also provided the court evidence that had been gathered from these camps.

Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the attacks, was hanged in a Pune jail last November.

The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks that killed 166 people.

Their trial has made little or no headway for months due to various technical and legal issues.

PTI