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Pak yet to approach Interpol over Kasab

Source: PTI
May 22, 2010 18:43 IST
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Pakistani authorities were on Saturday caught on the wrong foot as an anti-terror court hearing the 26/11 case was told that Interpol was yet to be approached for a Red Corner notice for Ajmal Kasab, weeks after they claimed the matter had been taken up with the Paris-based agency.

The Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of LeT's operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the Mumbai attacks adjourned the case till June 5.

Judge Malik Mohammad Akram Awan adjourned the trial after hearing arguments by the prosecution and defence on whether Kasab and Fahim Ansari could be made part of the trial.

Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested alive during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, was given death penalty by a Mumbai court earlier this month while Ansari, who was also an accused, was acquitted for want of evidence.

Defence lawyers argued in the Rawalpindi court that persons like Kasab and Ansari, who had been convicted or acquitted, could not be tried again for the same offence.

They said that section 403 of the Indian and Pakistani Penal Codes did not permit the fresh trial of persons who have been convicted or acquitted. Special Public Prosecutor Malik Rab Nawaz Noon told PTI , "We told the court that this provision is not applicable in this case as Kasab had committed offences in Pakistan."

However, the prosecution was caught on the wrong foot when the judge asked it whether the government had obtained Red Corner notices for Kasab and Ansari.

Judge Awan told the prosecution that he had issued arrest warrants for Kasab and Ansari to facilitate the government's efforts to obtain Red Corner notices for them.

The prosecution acknowledged that the government was yet to approach Interpol for the notices.

Earlier last month, the Special Public Prosecutor had said that Pakistan had approached the Interpol seeking Red Corner notices for arresting Kasab and Ansari.

The defence lawyers also filed an application before the court seeking an end to the in-camera proceedings of the trial. They contended that the trial should be open to the media just as was done in the case of the suspects in India. Khwaja Sultan, the counsel for Lakhvi, said the international media had extensively covered the trial in India.

Holding of in-camera proceedings in Pakistan is allowing India to claim that there had been no progress in the trial here, he said. The judge asked the prosecution to give its response to the application at the next hearing.

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