M A I N   N E W S

Mumbai Attacks
Pak court records evidence

Islamabad, January 30
A Pakistani anti-terror court conducting the trial of seven men, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, today recorded evidence against the accused and the testimony of a witness.

The government's team of prosecutors presented evidence against the accused in the anti-terrorism court of Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan in Rawalpindi, sources told PTI.

The details and nature of the evidence could not immediately be ascertained. The court also recorded the testimony of a witness named Zaheer Ahmed Sapra, who said he had booked a Yamaha engine that powered an inflatable dinghy which was used by the attackers.

Sapra said he had only booked the engine and did not personally know the accused, sources said.

Indian investigators have already established that the Yamaha engine used in the inflatable dinghy was manufactured by the Japanese company and shipped to a Lahore-based firm named Business and Engineering Trends.

"Following the presentation of evidence, the judge adjourned the matter till February 13," Shahbaz Rajput, a lawyer for some of the accused, told PTI.

The defence lawyers had boycotted the last hearing on January 23 to protest the failure of authorities to provide them security and facilities for meeting their clients at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail in line with an order of the Lahore High Court.

Judge Awan is conducting the trial in Adiala Jail for security reasons. The seven accused - Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum - are also being held in Adiala Jail.

They were last year formally charged with planning and helping execute the assault on India’s financial hub in November 2008 that killed nearly 166 persons.

A Rawalpindi-based division bench of the Lahore High Court this week reserved its decision on a petition filed by Lakhvi seeking his acquittal in the case in the anti-terrorism court.

However, the two judges comprising the division bench were recalled to Lahore after they reserved their judgement and it is expected that the verdict will be delivered by their replacements.

Lakhvi filed the petition in the High Court to challenge the anti-terrorism court’s decision dismissing an earlier plea for acquittal.

Another bench of the Lahore High Court last week dismissed a separate application by Lakhvi seeking the transfer of his trial from the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi to Lahore. — PTI



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