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Ajmal to confess before magistrate

A Rediff Correspondent | December 15, 2008 18:33 IST

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The Centre has asked the Maharashtra Government to get an in-camera judicial confession of Ajmal Amir Iman aka Qasab, the lone surviving terrorist in the Mumbai attacks, before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC that can be legally valid for pursuing the case in courts.

Once his confession is recorded, the government will consider the demand of the foreign governments to allow their agencies to independently interrogate him, the sources said, referring to the demand made by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday to let his Scotland Yard sleuths talk to him.

Sources said India is open to questioning of Qasab by foreign agencies like Scotland Yard and FBI, but not immediately as it may impinge upon the ongoing investigations by the Mumbai Police.

First his confession be recorded before a court and then the foreign agencies will be given an access to him as that will help further in nailing Pakistan's lies about those who carried out the carnage in Mumbai, sources said.

They said the government already has an hour-long video-taped confession of Qasab, copies of which have been provided to the US and the UK and also presented before the United Nations Security Council to get its fiat issued to Pakistan.

The video tape, however, has no legal value and hence the need to record the confession before a magistrate, the sources said.

Though the government has not provided this confessional evidence to Pakistan so far, sources said it must have, however, already reached Islamabad [Images] through the international interlocutors as also from its representative in the United Nations where the video tape is available. They said the government will be, however, forwarding the confession that Qasab makes before the court to Pakistan.

Sources said the External Affairs Ministry would forward a lengthy letter written by Qasab to the Pakistan High Commission and also urge upon it to take the custody of the bodies of the nine other terrorists lying in the JJ Hospital mortuary in Mumbai.

All these terrorists were Pakistani national and hence it is imperative on the High Commission's part to take back their bodies to hand over them to their families in Pakistan for burial, sources added.

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