The Pakistan Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi seeking acquittal in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case after his counsel withdrew the plea on Thursday.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said Lakhvi, one of the seven suspects being tried for their involvement in Mumbai attacks, could approach the higher courts after the anti-terrorism court decided the case.
Malik Rab Nawaz Noon, the senior advocate who represented the government, said the Supreme Court bench did not agree with the contention of Lakhvi's lawyer that Ajmal Kasab's confessional statement to Indian authorities had no value in Pakistan courts.
Ajmal Kasab is the lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai attacks and has been sentenced to death by a Mumbai court.
In his petition, Lakhvi had sought his acquittal in the Mumbai attacks case in a Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court and the termination of criminal proceedings against him.
Lakhvi's counsel had also asked the apex court to bar the anti-terrorism court and the prosecution from using Kasab's statement against his client because it was recorded by an Indian magistrate.In his confessional statement, Kasab had named Lakhvi as the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.