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Again, Pak court adjourns 26/11 trial for a week

Source: PTI
November 16, 2009 17:12 IST
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A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Monday adjourned till November 23 the trial of seven suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, arrested for alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

"The proceedings were adjourned till November 23 as the Punjab bar association elections are scheduled for Saturday," said Shahbaz Rajput, one of the defence lawyers.

Rajput said the Federal Investigation Agency had provided defence lawyers some of the documents that the accused had sought in applications filed with the anti-terrorism court.

Among these documents was the statement made to Indian authorities by Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested for the Mumbai attacks.

"However, we have not received all the documents we had sought. This may apparently take some time," Rajput said.

Sources said the accused have sought details of the chargesheet framed against them by the FIA and other documents.

The last hearing of the matter, scheduled for November 14, was not held as Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan, who is hearing the case, was on leave.

The trial is being conducted at the heavily guarded Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons.

The court has directed lawyers and others associated with the trial not to discuss details with the media and journalists are barred from covering the proceedings.

There have been indications that defence lawyers plan to focus on Kasab's role in the attacks and possibly make a request for him to be brought to Pakistan to be cross-examined in the anti-terrorism court.

Diplomatic sources said they believed such a move could delay the trial.

The seven suspects -- 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 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai nearly a year ago.
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