The International Court of Justice (ICJ) denying permission to Pakistan to play a “confessional” video of Kulbhushan Jadhav during the public hearing at The Hague was a setback for Islamabad, India’s lead attorney Harish Salve said.
During the hearing on Monday, Pakistan sought permission to play the purported video of Jadhav admitting he was a “spy” to support its allegations that the retired navy officer was sent by India to carry out espionage activities and was arrested from the restive Balochistan province.
But the ICJ denied permission to the Pakistani side.
Asked whether it was a setback for Pak, Salve said, “Obviously”.
“If you want to show something and it helps your case if you are denied that right, it’s a setback. So, in that sense, yeah! They wanted to show it and that opportunity was taken away,” he told a news channel.
“They did not allow it. We objected and the court felt it was not appropriate,” he said.
Salve also criticised the Pakistani delegation’s submission to the ICJ that India has not proved Jadhav was an Indian. He said they contradicted themselves at the court.
“The one comment I couldn’t resist is that he (Jadhav) was an Indian spy, but the lawyer said that we have not proved that he was an Indian national. I don’t know where they are coming from on that,” he said.
“Here, the allegation is that he is an Indian spy trained in India, but then the lawyer also made the point that India has not proved his nationality. So, anyway, this is a kind of contradiction,” he said.
The lead Indian attorney said he doesn’t believe the verdict in the case will take long “because of the note on which it ended today (Monday).”
The ICJ heard both the sides during the hearing.
India has demanded immediate suspension of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ concludes.
On May 8, India had moved the ICJ against the death penalty given to Jadhav by a Pakistan military court, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life.