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Kasab should be brought to Pak: Lakhvi's lawyer

By Rezaul H Laskar
March 20, 2010 16:20 IST

Lawyers for Lashkar-e-Tayiba's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six more accused in the Mumbai attacks case on Saturday demanded at an anti-terror court that Ajmal Kasab be brought from India to Pakistan to face trial with the other suspects.

The defence lawyers made this argument in the court of judge Malik Mohd Akram Awan in Rawalpindi, which was hearing an application from the prosecution for Kasab and Fahim Ansari to be declared 'proclaimed offenders' or fugitives.

Kasab, a Pakistani, was captured alive during the 26/11 attacks while nine other terrorists were gunned down. Ansari is another accused in Mumbai attack case.

The lawyers argued that Kasab was not a fugitive as he was not 'wilfully' avoiding the Pakistani court. Kasab was in the custody of Indian authorities since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 and this was known to the prosecution when a case was registered in Pakistan in January 2009, they said.

Lakhvi's counsel Khwaja Sultan told the court that Pakistan government should approach its Indian counterpart to bring Kasab to Pakistan to be tried along with the other accused.

"The court today heard arguments from both the prosecution and the defence," Shahbaz Rajut, one of the defence lawyers, told PTI.

Sources said the court adjourned the matter till March 27 when the judge is expected to give a decision on the application filed by the prosecution.

The filing of the application has held up the recording of testimony of witnesses to the anti-terror court.

The application became necessary after the Lahore high court recently ruled that Kasab's trial could not be separated from that of the seven accused. The HC gave its ruling in response to a petition filed by Lakhvi.

Apart from Lakhvi, the suspects in the case in Pakistan are Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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