iconimg Sunday, August 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 06, 2013
The defence advocates on Friday declared co-founder of  Indian Mujahideen (IM) Sadiq Sheikh a hostile witness after he retracted his confession statement given before a magistrate in 2008 in relation to the 7/11 blasts case. Sheikh had been called as a defence witness by the accused of 7/11 serial train blasts before special MCOCA judge Yatin Shinde.

On Friday, Sheikh maintained that before he was to taken to the magistrate to give his confession, Mumbai crime branch officers had threatened him. “Before entering the chamber, the officers threatened me to sign the confession. I was never told what was written and only agreed to the content as I was under threat,” Sheikh said. Following this deposition, defence advocate Wahab Khan declared Sheikh as hostile and started to cross examine him.

Sadiq was called as a defence witness with regard to the confessional statement stating the IM was responsible for carrying out blasts in the country between 2005 and 2008, including the 2006 train blasts.

 During the cross-examination, Sheikh said, “The interrogating officers forced me to admit my involvement in the 2006 train blasts saying they knew that my associates and I were responsible for them and that Anti-Terrorist Squad had implicated innocent people in these blasts as well as the Malegaon blast. However, I replied saying that I had no role in any of the blasts.” 

 Sheikh’s cross examination will continue on Saturday.