India has agreed to let the investigating officer of the 26/11 attack testify before a Pakistani court through video-conferencing and will only send him only if the law does not recognise video-conferencing.
Islamabad had requested the presence of Ramesh Mahal, a Mumbai police officer who probed 26/11, and the two magistrates who recorded, and confirmed, Ajmal Kasab’s confessional statement in April.
The anti-terrorism court is hearing the case against seven accused including Lashkar commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, facing the charge of planning and executing the Pakistani leg of the 26/11 conspiracy.
Sources said Delhi’s response offering examination of the police officer through video-conferencing was being communicated to the Pakistani side through diplomatic channels.
In case Islamabad agrees, sources said a formal request for video-conferencing would be made to the designated court in Rawalpindi.
If there is a problem, “we can send the officer provided they guarantee his safety and take all measures necessary”.
Sources said the Centre was also open to the magistrates concerned testifying before the designated anti-terrorism court over video-conferencing that they had recorded the lone survivor, Ajmal Kasab’s confessional statement.
It is, however, not the government’s prerogative to take a decision as far as the magistrates are concerned.
“We are making a request to the Bombay High Court to seek their permission,” a government source said.