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Accused Faheem Ansari wants new judge for 26/11 trial

Source: PTI
November 07, 2009 13:47 IST
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In a new twist to the 26/11 terror attack case, Faheem Ansari, who is accused of facilitating the attacks perpetrated by the ten terrorists, has moved the Bombay High Court seeking a re-trial on the ground that he had no confidence in the judge.

Hearing Faheem's petition sent through the jail authorities, Justice J N Patel and Justice Amjad Sayed on Friday directed Additional Public Prosecutor Rajesh More to file a reply within two weeks.

The high court has also ordered the appointment of a lawyer from the legal aid cell to argue the case on Faheem's behalf. Faheem has submitted that he did not expect justice from Judge M L Tahaliyani as he felt that the proceedings were not being recorded properly.

In the petition, hand written in English, Faheem urged that the Judge be replaced and that the high court should stay the trial until his plea is heard and disposed of. Faheem has also urged for an audio-video recording and live telecast of the trial court's proceedings, alleging that the evidence was not being recorded properly.

The accused has cited the evidence tendered by Hemant Bavdhankar of D B Marg police station, saying the court had recorded that the car hijacked by suspected terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismael was moving towards Malabar Hill. Later, the judge clarified the testimony of the witness, saying the car was facing Malabar Hill, Faheem alleged.

Earlier, the trial court had rejected Faheem's plea for audio-video recording of the proceedings of this case on the ground that there was no law which allowed this. Aggrieved, he has made a fresh plea before the high court.

Faheem is charged with conducting a reconnaissance and identifying the likely targets of the terror attack. He also drew maps of the final targets in Mumbai, which were targeted by terrorists in the 26/11 attack, and handed them over to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in Pakistan through co-accused Sabauddin Ahmed to execute the crime.

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