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Pak: Trial of 26/11 accused LeT operatives adjourned

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
July 04, 2009 13:28 IST
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The trial in a Pakistani anti-terror court of five Lashker-e-Tayiba operatives accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks was on Saturday adjourned till July 18 without any proceedings.

The case, being heard by an anti-terror court in Rawalpindi, was adjourned for a fortnight due to the non-availability of a judge, sources said.

There has been no movement in the case since May 23 as Justice Sakhi Muhammad Kahut, the judge of anti-terror court number 2 who was hearing the matter, was removed as part of judicial reforms.

Subsequently, the Federal Investigation Agency approached Justice Muhammad Akram Awan, the judge in anti-terror court number 1, to take up the case and he repeatedly adjourned the matter.

Awan was on leave on Saturday due to personal reasons, the sources said. The sources also said Baqir Ali Rana had been appointed as the new judge for anti-terror court number 2 and is expected to assume office on Monday.

He is expected to hear the case against the five LeT operatives as well as several other cases related to high-profile terrorist attacks.

Authorities have framed charges against the five LeT operatives Zaikur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al Qama, Shahid Jamil Riaz and Hamad Amin Sadiq under the Anti-Terrorism Act, Pakistan Penal Code and a cyber crimes law.

On May 5, the court distributed copies of the chargesheet among the suspects. They are expected to be formally indicted at the next hearing.

The trial of the five LeT members is being held inside the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi due to security reasons.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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