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Mumbai trial adjourned again on defence plea

The prosecution protested the judge`s decision to adjourn the case without any proceedings today.

Islamabad: The trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks was adjourned for a week on Saturday at the request of defence lawyers even though three prosecution witnesses had come to be cross-examined regarding their testimony.

Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, submitted an application that requested Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman to put off the hearing till next week as his father`s death anniversary was being observed today.

Ahmed`s father Khwaja Sultan had served as Lakhvi`s counsel before his death.
The judge accepted Ahmed`s request and put off the case till January 18.
The prosecution protested the judge`s decision to adjourn the case without any proceedings today.

Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali told the court: "Three officials of the Federal Investigation Agency and intelligence agencies have come all the way from Karachi to be cross-examined regarding the testimony they had given at an earlier hearing. Now they will have to come yet again".

Ali argued that the court had earlier too adjourned the hearing till today on the request of the defence lawyers.

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

Officials of the FIA and intelligence agencies had testified during recent hearings about the training of the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai 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 suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks that killed 166 people in November 2008. Their trial has made little or no headway for months due to various technical and legal issues.