MUMBAI: Pakistani investigators due to visit India next month to probe the 2008 Mumbai attacks will not be allowed to interrogate Ajmal Kasab, The Associated Press news agency reported on Monday.
Disagreements over access to the lone surviving gunman, who has been sentenced to death in India for his role in the rampage that killed 166, have spilled into public view.
Interior minister Rehman Malik told India’s NDTV last week that Pakistani officials would like to speak with Kasab directly to verify his confession. “It can be verified either by bringing Kasab to Pakistan or the judicial commission goes and personally interviews witnesses, including Kasab,” he said. “That’s what we have requested.”
But on Monday, Ira Joshi, a spokeswoman for India's Ministry of Home Affairs, said that such access was not part of the memorandum of understanding governing the visit.
In his confession before the court — which he later tried to retract — Kasab described in detail a network of training camps and safe houses across Pakistan, revealing the names of four men he said were his handlers.
The Pakistani delegation will visit Mumbai in the first week of February and speak to doctors who conducted post-mortems on the nine gunmen killed during the attack, as well as to the magistrate who recorded Kasab’s confession and the chief investigating officer of the attacks, an official at Mumbai’s high court said on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the visit.
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