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I need a lawyer: Kasab

March 23, 2009 14:11 IST

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Coverage: Mumbai terror attacks

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab [Images], the lone terrorist arrested in the November 26 terror attacks, said on Monday that he needed a lawyer and was agreeable to a court-appointed government defence lawyer representing him.
Kasab appeared before special judge M L Tahiliyani via video conferencing from the Arthur Road jail where he is
presently lodged in a high security cell.
Dressed in a grey T-shirt, a bearded Kasab, when asked by the court if he wanted a lawyer for the trial, said, "If there
will be a trial then I will need a lawyer."
Asked by the judge if he had any preference, he said, "Could you just call the lawyer, who appeared on my behalf on
November 27?"
The court informed him that he had no lawyer representing him during his first and only court appearance and asked him
if he is agreeable to a government-appointed lawyer.
"Theek hai (all right)," Kasab said, speaking in Hindi during the court appearance.
Judge Tahiliyani said he will inform jail authorities of his next court appearance and it will be conveyed to him. After thanking the judge, Kasab was taken back to his cell.

Earlier, Kasab told the court that he was a resident of Faridkot in the Punjab area of Pakistan and had received a
copy of the charge-sheet.
Asked if he had a lawyer, Kasab said, "As of now I don't have one."
When asked by the judge if he knew him (Judge Tahiliyani), Kasab replied in English, "I don't."
Subsequently, Judge Tahiliyani told him, "I am the judge, who will conduct the trial in your case." Hearing this Kasab smiled and replied, "Namaste".
The media, for the first time, was permitted on Monday to be present during the video conferencing with Kasab in the sessions court complex in south Mumbai [Images].
The court will give its order on the prosecution's plea to postpone the trial to April 13 later in the day.
The prosecution had sought the trial be postponed in order to ready the special high security court in Arthur Road
Two alleged Indian Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, will also face trial in the case
and were produced before the court through video conferencing today.
Over 160 persons were killed in the November 26 terror strikes. Nine terrorists, who were involved in the attacks
were killed in a standoff with security forces.

Following is the text of conversation between Judge Tahilyani and Kasab:
Judge Tahilyani: Tumhara naam kya hai? (What's your name)
Kasab: Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.
Judge: Kahan ke rehne wale ho? (Where are you from)
Kasab: Pakistan main Faridkot. (Faridkot in Pakistan)
Judge: Kya tumhe charge-sheet ki copy mili? (Did you receive a copy of the chargesheet)
Kasab: Haan. (Yes)
Judge: Vakil hai kya? (Do you have a lawyer)
Kasab: Filhal toh nahi. (As of now.. no)
Judge: Vakil appoint karna chahte ho? (Do you want to appoint a lawyer)
Kasab: Jee sir. Jo November 27 ko mere liye khade hue the.. unhi ko bulalo." (Yes sir, you can call the lawyer who
appeared on my behalf on November 27..)
Judge: Meri jaankari main toh aapke liye koi lawyer nahi tha. Aap chahte ho toh aapko sarkari vakil appoint karke de sakte hain. (As per my knowledge, there was no lawyer for you on that day. If you wish we can appoint a defence lawyer from the government)
Kasab: Theek hai sir. (Alright sir)

Judge: Kya aap jaante ho main kaun hoon? (Do you know who I am)
Kasab: I don't
Judge: Main judge hoon jo tumhara case chalane wala hoon. (I am the Judge, who is going to conduct the trial in your case)"
Kasab (smiling): Namaste!
Judge: Agli date case ka, main court mein order paas karunga jo aapko jail ki Superintendent bata degi. (I will pass the order regarding the next date in the case in the court, which the jail superintendent will let you know)
Kasab: Bilkul theek sir. (Alright sir)

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