The accused being tried for their alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks on Saturday submitted to a special court names of their lawyers who will travel to India as part of a judicial commission to record statements of investigators, doctors and judicial officers related to the case.
The defence team submitted the names of the five lawyers – Khawaja Sultan Ahmed, Riaz Ahmed Cheema, Ahsan Bin Haris, Ahsan Rafique and Fakhar-e-Hayat – and their required documents including passports.
These lawyers will represent Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi – the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks – Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid — who are all facing an in-camera trial in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
Anti-Terrorism Court-I Special Judge Shahid Rafique has set the next hearing on January 3, 2012 since the proposed judicial commission is to complete its legal obligations within 10 days.
Other members of the commission will be Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Public Prosecutors Muhammad Azhar, senior FIA official Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, and an official of the Pakistan Foreign Office functioning as a coordinator between the Indian government and the judicial commission.
The trial court had allowed the federal government to send a judicial commission to Mumbai for recording statements of the doctors who had carried out post mortems, investigators who probed the attacks, sole surviving gunman of the attacks Ajmal Kasab and the judicial officers who recorded the statements of Kasab.
The need for sending a judicial commission rose after the accused in Pakistan challenged the legality of the confessional statement of Kasab and its usage as piece of evidence against them.
Indian authorities had already announced their team for the commission. Mumbai Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SS Shinda was nominated as head of the team by the Mumbai High Court chief justice.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ