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Pak court adjourns trial of 26/11 accused

January 16, 2010 16:14 IST

A Pakistani anti-terror court on Saturday adjourned for a week the trial of seven men, including Lashker-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks as an application filed by them is pending with the Lahore High Court.

Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan of the anti-terror court was to begin recording evidence against the accused but adjourned the matter till January 23 in view of an application filed by Lakhvi in the Lahore High Court seeking the transfer of the case to another court.

"The case was adjourned as the transfer application filed by the accused is pending with the Lahore High Court," Shahbaz Rajput, a lawyer for some of the accused, told PTI.

The trial is being conducted at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi due to security concerns.

At the last hearing on January 6, Judge Awan rejected applications seeking the acquittal of the seven suspects.

The court had then directed the prosecution to present evidence against the accused at today's hearing. On January 12, Lakhvi filed an application in the Lahore High Court seeking the transfer of the case from Rawalpindi to an anti-terror court in Lahore due to a purported threat to his life.

Lakhvi's lawyer Khwaja Sultan contended that the LeT commander purportedly faced a threat to his life as a number of agents of the Indian spy agency Research and Analyses Wing were present in Rawalpindi.

Lakhvi also complained that authorities at Adiala Jail, where he is currently being held, were not allowing him to meet his lawyer.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, who heard the application, issued notices to the federal interior secretary, attorney general and advocate general of Punjab province to respond to Lakhvi's plea at the next hearing on January 21.

The seven accused Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum were last year formally charged with planning and helping execute the assault on India's financial hub in November 2008.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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