RAWALPINDI: India has agreed to allow a judicial commission from Pakistan to record the statements of key figures, including Ajmal Kasab, in connection with an investigation into the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008.
This has emerged from a report presented by public prosecutors when the Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) resumed hearing the Mumbai attack case on Saturday.
The report states that besides Kasab the commission can question Magistrate RV Sawant Waghule, Investigation Officer Ramesh and the 26 doctors who carried out a post-mortem on the 304 people killed during the attacks.
Prosecutors-general Chaudhry Zulfiqar and Muhammad Azhar told the ATC that authorities are expected to receive a formal letter from India soon.
The prosecutors pleaded before the court that a judicial commission should be formed and the cases of main suspects Ajmal Kasab and Faheem Ansari should be separated, declaring them proclaimed offenders. They requested the court to record the statements of the prosecution witnesses against the suspects.
The counsel for the suspects objected to the prosecution’s claims and asked the court to dismiss their requests for the formation of a judicial commission and separation of the cases since it was a waste of time.
ATC Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed, who took over the case last month, said he would hear afresh the arguments by the prosecution and defence on the government’s petition to send the commission to India.
The arrested suspects – Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Hammad Ameen Sadiq, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younus Anjum and Jamil Ahmed – were present in the courtroom during the hearing held in the special court established inside the Adiyala Jail Rawalpindi.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2010.
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