2008 Mumbai attacks case: Defence lawyers blame India for delay in trial

Published: June 19, 2011
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 In this photograph taken on November 29, 2009, an Indian security official stands alert as smoke and flames billow out from a section of The Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

In this photograph taken on November 29, 2009, an Indian security official stands alert as smoke and flames billow out from a section of The Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

RAWALPINDI: 

The lawyers of the seven accused arrested in connection with the 2008 terrorists attacks in Mumbai have blamed the Indian government for causing a delay in the trial against their clients.

Addressing a press conference at a local hotel on Saturday, Advocate Malik Muhammad Rafique said that if the Indian government accepted the demand by Pakistan to send 20 prosecution witnesses to a Pakistani court, the trial could be wrapped up in no time.

Speaking on behalf of the other defence lawyers, Advocate Rafique said that the layers unanimously agreed that India should stop piling pressure on Pakistani authorities for a speedy trial of the seven accused, who were arrested in January 2009.

He further said that the reason for the press conference was that as defence lawyers it was necessary for them to present the current status of the trial.

The lawyer added that the trial court had been waiting for the prosecution witnesses in the case, as India had turned down a request of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to send the witnesses to appear before the trial court.

Advocate Rafique further said that a request of the FIA to form a judicial commission that would go to India to record statements of the prosecution witnesses for the trial would not be suitable under Pakistani laws, which requires the judge to be present while witnesses record their statements.

He explained that only the competent court of law could determine the ‘demeanour ‘of the prosecution witnesses while recording their statements.

If the commission goes to India to record the statements of the witnesses, their value to the defence would be minimal and could create another legal lacuna in the case.

Similarly, the criminal evidence and statements of the witnesses obtained in India against Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the attack, could not be helpful for the FIA against the seven arrested men who belong to the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the lawyer said.

Denouncing the pressure by India for a speedy trial of the accused, the lawyer said that  India should first produce the culprits in the case of the Samjotha Express incident which killed hundreds of innocent Pakistanis.

In response to a question, Advocate Rafique said they would seek the post-arrest bail of the seven accused in a stable condition as many trial judges who had been appointed to hear the case were transferred.

The hearing against the arrested accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid was adjourned till June 25 in the absence of the trial judge who was transferred last Saturday.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Atheist, India
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:47AM

    “to send 20 prosecution witnesses to a Pakistani court”

    are you kidding me? you can’t protect even your own people how are you gonna take care of 20 “Indians”?Recommend

  • fahim
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:55AM

    Shut up and stop blaming others. Why are hundreds of cases such as Quadri, who openly confess of terrorism is not punished? Why is the delay in thousands of other cases where evidence is right in front of eyes not punished? In the last 10 years, how many domestic terrorist and criminals were punished? Dont blame your own incompetency, impotency, and lawlessness to others. As a pakistani I am ashamed how we deal domestic situation. It is obvious we are unable to meet international demands on criminals too… dont see any fault of india in this. We have become blatant liars. Recommend

  • delhi_se
    Jun 19, 2011 - 11:08AM

    How about sending accused to India ? That way you wont have to worry about spending money in all this drama and will prove your sincerity.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 19, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Stop this BS Drama, at once and start acting in your own future interests too, as these very people are blowing up innocent people in your cities too!!!
    I wonder, if these people were responsible for an attack on US Soil, How long would its have taken for them to be dispatched to US???
    Hours and days!! not Months and Years and all the rest of BS, that Pak has been feeding Indians, about their Judicial Process!!!
    I don’t recall this Process being followed when Pak handed over more than 200 people over the years to US!!!!
    So where is the problem ?? or is it that Pak really can not afford to upset Uncle Sam, as then they may have problems obtaining Aid and other Goodies !!!!!Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 19, 2011 - 2:06PM

    All accused in Mumbai carnage will be honourably acquitted and showered with rose petals.Recommend

  • usman
    Jun 19, 2011 - 5:00PM

    india always want the people from other countries,their security agencies can’t do anything,Do not forget that you are india not USA,we will see when india will get david headleyRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 19, 2011 - 6:36PM

    @usman:
    Don’t tempt faith too often,
    If i were you , i would be very worried about a fire in your own Backyard at present, known as NW!!!
    Pakistan’s feebs are not being listened to by anyone or anymore! Time is fast approaching for them to start showing sincerity in their War on Terror! Because if not, Uncle Sam will be visiting your turf daily on as and will basis to deal with the Cockroaches you have created and sheltered for so long!!!!Recommend

  • Harish S
    Jun 19, 2011 - 7:02PM

    Are these guys joking. Send 20 witnesses, exchange dossiers, meetings etc. Just send those 7 BS’ers here and we will hang them. Davies got out in a few days. Masood Azhar is not even tracable even as OBL was and killed. Things will get better when the US hits at all these terrorists. Do these lawyers think that the law of the pure land is going to stop them. For all you know, they are the ones who control your lives and that includes what you do or have to do, every single minute of your lives. Recommend

  • Harish S
    Jun 19, 2011 - 7:03PM

    who wants David Headley. The information provided by him is enough to make you all look like fools@usman: Recommend

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