SC orders submission of Kasab’s statement

Express May 06, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that Ajmal Kasab’s confessionary statement – both in the Hindi language as well as its translated version in English – must be submitted to it on May 11.

A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur- Rehman Ramday was hearing the application filed by Hafiz Aziz-ur-Rehman, father of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhwi through his counsel Khawaja Sultan. The counsel pleaded that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhwi cannot be tried in an anti-terrorist court of Pakistan on the basis of a confessionary statement given by Ajmal Kasab in India.

Upon this, Justice Chaudhry directed the counsel (Khawaja Sultan) to provide the confessionary statement of Kasab which he gave before an Indian magistrate recorded in the Hindi language as well as its translated version in English, and adjourned the case hearing till May 11. Lakhwi has been under trial in an anti-terrorist court of Pakistan since right after the Mumbai carnage because the Indian government initially provided the confessionary statement of Kasab to Pakistan in which he nominated Zaki as his partner in the execution of the plan.

Some legal experts are of the view that the point Hafiz Aziz-ur-Rehman has raised before the apex court sounds logical and that on the basis of Kasab’s confessionary statement, Lakhwi cannot be tried in Pakistan. On condition of anonymity, they explained that a confessionary statement is always recorded before a magistrate which is later used in prosecution.

However, the statement is not sufficient to convict anyone in the case because apart from the statement, evidences are also required for prosecution, which are usually collected by law-enforcement agencies. In this case the statement cannot play a pivotal role for declaring Zaki either innocent or convicted. If he is to be tried, then Kasab will have to record his statement before the Pakistani magistrate. If the investigation team manages to collect evidences in light of the statement then Zaki could be charged, they maintained.


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