Mumbai attack case: FIA challenges Lakhvi’s bail in Islamabad court

ATC judge overlooked the evidence, claims special prosecutor

Obaid Abbasi January 04, 2015
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday challenged the bail plea of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted bail to the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attack on December 18.

“The learned judge overlooked the evidence,” FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Muhammad Azhar said in the application challenging the ATC's order. The prosecutor requested the court to set-aside the bail orders of trial court which ignored the evidence against the suspect.

ATC granted bail to the commander of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba after a trial court had observed that, "as per contents of the FIR against Lakhvi, the incident took place in November 2008, whereas the report was lodged on February 2, 2009." In the criminal proceedings, the delay in lodging an FIR of an offence always benefits the accused.

The prosecutor expressed fear that releasing Lakhvi on bail could affect the outcome of the case pending since 2008. "ATC judge fails to mention the solid reasons, while granting bail to Lakhvi, therefore the order should be cancelled," said Azhar in his arguments.

The application stated that it was difficult for the prosecution to pursue the case when terrorists threatened the prosecutors and witnesses who are afraid to record their testimony. "How is it possible for witnesses to record their statements gainst the accused when they receive threats from terrorists?" he asked. The court will take up the matter next week.

Currently, Lakhvi is on a 14-day judicial remand in Adiala Jail for a six-year old kidnapping case. The case was registered by the Golra police on December 29, 2014, on the complaint of Muhammad Dawood, a resident in the capital's outskirts.

Following the bail order on December 18, the Islamabad government had detained Lakhvi under the Maintenance of Public Order. However, IHC suspended his detention orders which he had challenged in the Supreme Court.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2015.


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