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Kasab's lawyer refuses to cross-examine 22 witnesses

Last updated on: December 04, 2009 22:15 IST
Advocate K P Pawar, appointed to defend Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 terror attack case, on Friday declined to cross-examine 22 witnesses, including three policemen, who were part of the anti-terror operation at the Cama hospital.

Out of the 26 witnesses, Pawar examined only four witnesses and declined to cross-examine others; including Sachin Tilekar, Mohan Shinde and Vijay Pawar who were part of the team, led by Additional Police Commissioner Sadanand Date, which was involved in a gun battle with Kasab and slain terrorist Abu Ismail on the the sixth floor of the Cama hospital.

The prosecution had last week submitted the affidavits of 340 witnesses as they were formal in nature and the defence had picked 91 witnesses for the cross-examination.

After examining 22 witnesses on Thursday, Pawar told the court that he does not want to cross-examine the remaining witnesses.

Judge M L Tahilyani, however, said the witnesses would be summoned to court and Pawar could decline to examine them then.

The witnesses examined by Pawar on Friday included three injured persons and one inquest panch witness.

The inquest witness, Shamsuddin Sayed had conducted the panchnama of the body of Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who was shot dead outside the hospital.

Sayed told the court that police had collected four materials from Karkare's body, which were his shirt, pant and undergarments.

Sources outside the court said Karkare's bulletproof jacket went missing before his body was taken in for examination at the hospital.

Another witness Pappu Singh, who was injured at the firing at the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminis, told the court during his cross-examination that he had seen one of the person firing, but when asked if the person was present in the court, Singh replied in the negative.

"Maybe it was Abu Ismail," the judge remarked.

The third witness, Rajendra Yadav, who sustained nine bullet injuries identified Kasab in the court as the one who was firing indiscriminately at the crowd in CST.

Another witness, Hirabai, who was not cross-examined, complained to the court that the state government had taken back the Rs 50,000 compensation given to her.

The court directed special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to investigate into the matter.

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