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Pakistan court adjourns 26/11 trial till Feb 14

By Rezaul H Laskar
February 11, 2012 16:56 IST
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The court conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks on Saturday adjourned proceedings till February 14 after prosecutors informed the judge that authorities were awaiting fresh dates for a Pakistani judicial commission's visit to India.

Chief Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali told anti-terrorism court Judge Shahid Rafique that Pakistani authorities were awaiting a new schedule from the Indian government for the judicial commission's visit to India, sources said.

The Indian government had earlier told Pakistani authorities that the commission could visit Mumbai any time between February 1 and 10. But the panel could not go ahead with the visit due to various reasons.

Ali told the judge that Pakistani authorities had sought new dates for the commission's visit and were now awaiting a response from New Delhi, the sources said.

Following this, the court adjourned proceedings till February 14.

Khwaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, has filed a petition questioning the manner in which the commission was constituted.

This petition is yet to be decided by the court.

Ahmed also requested the court to fix a date for the commission's visit after February 12, when a 40-day period of mourning for his late father, Khwaja Sultan, will end.

Sultan was Lakhvi's lawyer till his death. The Pakistani judicial commission is scheduled to interview the magistrate who recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist, the police officers who led the investigation in Mumbai and two doctors who conducted the autopsies of the terrorists and victims.

Lakhvi and the six other suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in November 2008.

Their trial has been stalled due to various technical issues for the past year.

Prosecutors have said the commission's visit to India is necessary to take forward the trial.

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Rezaul H Laskar In Islamabad
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