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Rediff.com  » News » 26/11 trial in Pakistan adjourned till Sep 29

26/11 trial in Pakistan adjourned till Sep 29

September 25, 2012 15:51 IST

The trial of Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks was Tuesday adjourned till September 29 as the judge was unavailable to conduct the hearing.

Court officials in Rawalpindi said the hearing had been put off till Saturday.

It could not immediately be ascertained whether the judge was unwell or on leave.

Five prosecution witnesses had been expected to testify at Tuesday's hearing.       

At the last hearing on September 15 too, three officials of the Federal Investigation Agency came to Adiala Jail, where the trial is being conducted, but were unable to testify.

Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court had also admitted an application from Lakhvi's counsel Khwaja Haris Ahmed that said all prosecution witnesses testifying on the same subject should be summoned during the same hearing.

The trial is being conducted behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons.

Pakistani authorities recently increased security at the prison after intelligence agencies reported that the Taliban could attack it to free militants being held there.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik recently said Pakistan plans to send a second judicial commission to India to cross-examine key witnesses in the Mumbai attacks case to speed up the prosecution of the seven Pakistani suspects.

The report of the first judicial commission that was sent to Mumbai to investigate the incident in March was rejected by the anti-terrorism court as members of the panel were not allowed to cross-examine the Indian witnesses.

Malik said the Pakistan government had requested its Indian counterpart to allow a second commission to visit Mumbai and was awaiting a response.

The seven suspects have been charged with planning, financing and facilitating the attacks.

Their trial has been stalled for over a year to due to a variety of technical reasons.

Image: A burning Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks

Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters

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