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26/11 evidence illegal: Court

An Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the report of the 26/11 judicial commission that had visited India earlier this year. It termed the report ‘illegal’, saying it could not be used against the accused since New Delhi hadn’t allowed the panel to cross-examine the witnesses.

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2012 00:51 IST
HT Correspondents

An Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the report of the 26/11 judicial commission that had visited India earlier this year. It termed the report ‘illegal’, saying it could not be used against the accused since New Delhi hadn’t allowed the panel to cross-examine the witnesses.

ATC judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman said the statements of four Indian officials recorded by the judicial commission were not legally admissible in Pakistan and could not be used as evidence against arrested men of the Lashkar-e-Taiba including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

The decision could weaken the case against the conspirators. This prompted Indian home secretary RK Singh to assert in New Delhi that the report had “evidential value”.

Singh’s colleagues at the home ministry added that New Delhi would also examine Tuesday’s judgement with an “open mind” and could favourably consider a request from Islamabad to send another commission with powers to cross-examine.

At the ATC court earlier, judge Rehman accepted the objections raised by Lakhvi and other arrested accused on grounds that the authorities did not allow them to cross-examine the four prosecution witnesses.

The court ruled that the agreement between Pakistan and India on the probe should be dissolved and a new agreement be chalked out. New Delhi had earlier cited this agreement to reject the panel’s demand for cross-examination.

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