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Crime branch team leaves for US

india Updated: Feb 09, 2009 23:11 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

A three-member crime branch team, headed by additional commissioner of police, crime, Deven Bharati left for the United States of America (USA) on Monday night to fine tune all credible evidence pertaining to the November 26 Mumbai attack case with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The other two members of the team are inspector Dinesh Kadam and senior inspector Arun Chouhan who are part of the special team that is investigating the case. The police team is likely to spend a week in the US.

The purpose of the visit, highly placed sources in the crime branch told HT on Monday, would be to collect, analyse and finalise the evidences gathered on the Mumbai attack case by both the investigating agencies before compiling the chargesheet. "Both the agencies had carried out independent investigation and, naturally, the evidences gathered by them would accordingly be independent. And since both the countries have different evidence acts, we have to sort out those (from their) which are admissible by our law courts," the source said.

Sources said that while evidence pertaining to the involvement of captured Lashkar-e-tayyaba terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab and nine of his (killed) accomplices in the Mumbai attack is the sole prerogative of the Mumbai police, the 'scientific and cyber forensic' evidence gathered by the Federal agency will be an addition to the evidence on their cross-border connections.

Those include the interception of the terrorists' conversation with their handlers in Pakistan using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) enabled satellite phones, the Pakistani-origin of the arms and explosives used by the terrorists as well as the purchase of the Yamaha engine recovered from the rubber raft that had been used by the terrorists to reach Mumbai shore from a Lahore-based dealer.

"The Mumbai police has also independently gathered such scientific evidence to prove the planning and dispatch of the attack from Pakistani soil. The FBI evidence would only bolster these evidence in order to build up a strong case against Pakistan," the sources added.

The crime branch has however, not decided on the modality of the FBI deposition in the court during the trial of the case. "We are yet to decide if they (FBI investigators) would have to be physically present in the court for deposition or their authorized papers (or articles) would serve the purpose," the sources said.