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26/11 accused wants NIA chief to depose in trial

Last updated on: February 22, 2010 16:47 IST
An accused in the 26/11 terror attack case sought permission from the trial court to examine National Investigation Agency chief S C Sinha, Gujarat Director General of Police S S Khandwawala, Rahul Bhatt--son of film maker Mahesh Bhatt, and fitness instructor Vilas Warak as defence witnesses.

The accused Sabahuddin Ahmed's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi told the court on Monday that he wants to examine these four witness to establish that terror suspect David Headley had conducted the reece of Mumbai before the 26/11 attack and not Sabahuddin as alleged by the prosecution.

"David Headley was staying at Malabar Hill in Mumbai and had conducted recce of the entire city and had passed on information to the 26/11 perpetrators. Then what is the need for Sabahuddin to prepare the sketches?" Naqvi asked. He further argued that according to the investigation agencies, Headley had also conducted recce of the Osho ashram in Pune near which a blast took place on February 13. Asked by special judge M L Tahiliyani as to what evidence Rahul Bhatt and Vilas Warak can give, Naqvi said the duo were close friends of Headley and had visited several places in the city with him. However, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam opposed

the application of Sabahuddin stating that the evidence of these witness was not relevant in the trial and also that Naqvi was going on hypothesis that the whole 26/11 attack took place because of Headley.

"According to the prosecution, Sabahuddin and Faheem Ansari had prepared the maps of the terror sites and supplied them to the perpetrators. However, the possibility of Headley also supplying pictures of the terror sites cannot be ruled out," Nikam told the court. The court will pass its order on the applicationon Tuesday.

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