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2 witnesses cross-examined in 26/11 trial in Pakistan

December 19, 2013 19:05 IST

Two crucial witnesses in the Mumbai attacks trial, including an electoral officer who established the Pakistani origin of one of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists involved in the assault on India's financial hub, have been cross-examined in an anti-terrorism court.

The electoral officer of Okara district, from where several of the attackers hailed, and a manager of Muslim Commercial Bank at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were cross-examined by lawyers of the seven accused during a hearing on Wednesday.

"The electoral officer provided the voters list that includes the relatives of one of the nine deceased in Mumbai to prove his Pakistani origin," Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Mohammad Azhar told PTI.

"The bank manager in Muzaffarabad, from whose branch money was transferred to Karachi in five transactions to one of the accused, was also cross-examined."

Asked about the identity of the dead terrorist whose relatives' names were included in the voters' lists, Azhar said, "He (the electoral officer) has to provide some additional documents to prove the identity of the deceased."

Sources told PTI that the electoral officer informed the court about the names of the father and mother of one of the 10 terrorists who travelled to Mumbai to carry out the brazen attacks in November 2008. Newly appointed defence lawyer Raja Rizwan Abbasi cross-examined him.

The next hearing of the case will be held on January 8 after a break for winter holidays. Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist caught by Indian authorities and hanged after a trial, also hailed from Okara district in Punjab province.

A reporter of the British daily The Guardian had found Kasab's parents' names in the electoral rolls for Faridkot village in Okara district.

Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists slain during the attacks -- 22-year-old Javed alias Abu Ali and 23-year-old Fahadullah -- also hailed from Okara. Javed was killed in Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Fahadullah was killed at Oberoi Trident Hotel.

LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum were arrested in 2009 for their alleged role in the attacks in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured.

They have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks.

Snehesh Alex Philip and M Zulqernain IN Islamabad
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