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New Pak judge adjourns 26/11 trial for a week

By Rezaul H Laskar
November 07, 2009 17:19 IST
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A Pakistani anti-terror court on Saturday adjourned the trial of the seven suspects arrested for their involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, after hearing arguments on the applications filed by the accused, for a week.

Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan adjourned the case till November 14 following today's proceedings, said Shahbaz Rajput, one of the defence lawyers. "The court took up the applications filed by the accused and a decision is expected," Rajput said, without giving details.

The court has advised lawyers and others associated with the trial not to discuss details with the media. Journalists are barred from covering the proceedings, which are being held within the heavily-guarded Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, for security reasons.

The accused had recently expressed reservations about the manner in which they were indicted, during a hearing on October 10 by Judge Baqir Ali Rana, who was earlier conducting the trial. The Lahore High Court took Rana off the case at his own request.

The accused, who have declined to plead guilty or not guilty, had earlier filed an application seeking attested copies of the statement made by Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive by Indian authorities during the terror siege on Mumbai in November last year.

A Rawalpindi-based bench of the Lahore High Court last month directed the anti-terror court to take into account the views of the accused and to redress their grievances before proceeding with their indictment.

The seven suspects Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum, have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

They have been accused of training and providing financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications gear to the ten terrorists who attacked Mumbai.

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Rezaul H Laskar In Islamabad
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