A Pakistani court, holding the trial of seven Mumbai attack case accused, including mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till June 3 as the judge was on a "judicial course".
“The Mumbai case hearing could not be held as the judge had gone on a judicial course. The court office has fixed next Wednesday as the next date of hearing,” a court official told PTI.
On the last hearing on May 20, the Islamabad anti-terrorism court had summoned seven witnesses to record their statements.
The trial court summoned the witnesses only after the case record was retrieved from the Islamabad high court and finally submitted to the ATC amid hopes that hearings would not be marred by any another issue now.
The inspector general of police, Islamabad, had also submitted a reply to the court during the last hearing regarding alleged security threats to Lakhvi. Argument on Lakhvi's plea to exempt him from attending the hearings is likely to be held on the next hearing.
Lakhvi claims that he is facing serious threats to his life and, therefore, should be exempted from in person appearance in the court during the hearings.
The Lashkar-e-Tayiba operations commander and Mumbai attack mastermind was released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore high court suspended his detention under a public security act.
Subsequently, the Islamabad high court had given a two- month deadline (by mid-June) to the trial court to conclude the case while disposing off the government's plea challenging Lakhvi's bail. Lakhvi, 55, is living at an undisclosed location since his release.
Lakhvi and six other accused -- Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum -- have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.