Mumbai attack case: Court issues contempt notice to interior minister

Accused say the Rehman Malik is trying to influence court proceedings.


Mudassir Raja August 11, 2011

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court has issued notices to Interior Minister Rehman Malik demanding a reply to a contempt of court petition filed by the accused in the Mumbai attack case. The petitioners have alleged that Malik is trying to influence court proceedings.

Special Judge Anti-Terrorism Court ACT-III Shahid Rafique, who has been holding an in-camera trial in Adiala Jail, has issued notices to the minister asking him to respond by August 13 – the next date of hearing. The petition has been filed by one of the accused, Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi,

“The court has entertained our application and has asked Malik to respond to it after we stated that the minister openly declared at a SAARC seminar in Kathmandu last month that a judicial commission has been formed which will soon leave for India. In reality the application for the formation of the commission is still pending in court,” said advocate Khawaja Sultan Ahmed, who is representing the accused.

Ahmed said the statement was highlighted by the Indian media as well since it is tantamount to contempt of court as the ATC has yet to take a decision on an application filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) about the formation of such a commission.

Special Public Prosecutor Chauhdry Zulfiqar Ali, however, opposed the application for contempt of court saying it was only a delaying tactic and that the court should take a decision on the application for the judicial commission.

In their application the FIA has prayed to the court to allow a commission to go to India and record the statements of those officials who interrogated and recorded the statements of Ajmal Kasab. The court separately summoned three prosecution witnesses to record their statements on the next date of hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.

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