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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mumbai Gunman Goes to Trial

NEW DELHI, Oct 12: Almost 11 months after he was picked up as the lone surviving militant for a horrific terror attack on Mumbai, Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab told the trial court on Monday that he had no faith in the Indian judiciary and asked for his case to be transferred to an international court, local reports said. But Judge M. L. Tahaliyani rejected 22-year-old Kasab’s plea saying “it is misconceived”.

“I have no faith in Indian court and this case may be transferred to an international court,” Kasab said in an application to the court. He had moved the application written in his own hand in Urdu. The application was filed through jail authorities who translated it into Marathi and produced before the court. The judge asked Kasab whether he had written the application and he replied “Ji huzoor” (Yes, Sir).

The trial of Kasab, whom police formally charged in February with several offences including ‘waging war’ against India, began on March 23 via a video link with his Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. In a separate development, the judge also rejected the plea of co-accused Fahim Ansari to stay the proceedings on the ground that he had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of the 26/11 case to some other court alleging that the recording of evidence was incorrect. “This is yet another attempt by the accused to delay the trial,” noted Judge Tahaliyani while rejecting Fahim’s plea to stay the proceedings. “Fahim is perhaps being instigated by outsiders,” the court noted. Fahim is facing the charge of conspiring with other accused in the terror attacks.

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