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Photos showing me at CST were morphed, says Kasab

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 06, 2010 19:41 IST
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Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab claimed photographs showing him and his slain companion Abu Ismael at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and Cama Hospital during the 26/11 attacks were morphed.

He also denied his presence at CST and Cama Hospital - targets of the attacks.

"Kasab was not at CST or Cama Hospital when the places were attacked by terrorists and his photographs produced in the trial court were morphed," lawyer Amin Solkar told justices Ranjana Desai and R V More of the Bombay High Court who are hearing arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to him.

Kasab did not appear today on the screen put up in the court for video conference link to enable him hear the proceedings from Arthur Road jail where he is lodged.

Solkar pointed out that media photographer Sebastian D'souza, who claimed to have clicked Kasab's pictures at CST, had admitted in cross examination that photographs could be morphed although he stuck to his version that photographs of Kasab and Ismael produced in the court were original frames.

Solkar argued that Sebastian had not given the memory card of his camera to police during investigation. Instead he took out a CD of some photographs and got them developed in a private studio at Fort area of South Mumbai. Sebastian neither produced receipt of the studio nor did he give the name of the shop or owner.

The prosecution also did not examine the studio owner to prove that Sebastian had given them memory card and the photographs produced in the court are the same ones which were developed in the studio.

Justice Desai observed that the prosecution should have examined more witnesses. "When you can examine 654 witnesses in the trial, why not a few more," she asked. Solkar further argued that Sebastian had told the trial court he saw Kasab from a distance of about 100 feet. "It is difficult to see the features of a person from such a distance. Sebastian had identified Kasab in the court and this should not be believed."

The other photographer, Sriram Vernekar, had also seen Kasab from about 500 feet. He too had identified Kasab in the court. Such identification was therefore "doubtful" and should be discarded, Solkar argued.

In the court, two witnesses of Cama hospital incident had identified slain terrorist Ismael in the photographs showed to them but they did not identify Kasab who was present in the dock at that time, Solkar argued.

The bench observed that the prosecution should have been careful more particularly in a case of this nature. Solkar argued that witness have told the court that Kasab and Ismael were at CST at 9.50 pm.

"It is also the case of the prosecution that at 10 pm the duo attacked Cama Hospital. How could they reach the hospital from CST in just 10 minutes," he asked.

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