26/11 trial adjourned till May 19
ISLAMABAD THE trial of LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks was on Saturday adjourned till May 19, even as defence lawyers filed an application raising objections to the report of a judicial panel that recently visited India.
The defence lawyers had filed an application with their preliminary objections to the commission’s report at the last hearing on April 28.
During Saturday’s hearing behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, the defence filed an additional application with its objections to the report.
Judge Shahid Rafique of the anti-terrorism court said he would allow arguments on the matter at the next hearing on May 19, sources told PTI.
After the hearing, Lakhvi’s counsel Khwaja Haris Ahmed told PTI that defence lawyers had raised several objections to the report.
He objected to certain sections of the report related to the members of the Pakistani judicial commission and claimed that the authorities in India appeared more interested in “facilitating” Indian lawyers than the visiting Pakistani members.
Ahmed further said the defence lawyers had raised objections to the agreement between India and Pakistan that barred crossexamination of witnesses during the judicial commission’s visit to Mumbai.
“Without cross-examination, the whole exercise turned outto be futile,” he contended.
Pakistani prosecutors had submitted the report on the judicial commission’s recent visit to India at the last hearing in the anti-terrorism court on April 28.
The eight-member judicial commission, which included prosecution and defence lawyers, returned from a visit to India in March.
The panel travelled to Mumbai, where it recorded the statements of the magistrate who had recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, the police officer who had led the investigation into the attacks and two doctors who had conducted the autopsies of the terrorists and victims.
The seven Pakistani suspects, including Lakhvi, have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people in November 2008.
The trial of the suspects has stalled due to various technical issues for the past year.