A Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the trial of seven Mumbai attack case accused, including mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till October 28.
Only one official witness on Wednesday recorded his statement in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad which is currently holding the in-camera hearing at the high-security Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.
The other two witnesses summoned for Wednesday’s hearing did not turn up.
The court adjourned the hearing for October 28 and summoned four witnesses.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) began holding the trial twice a week from June to expedite the case after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the trial court mid-April to conclude the case in two months or by mid-June.
Neither the trial has concluded nor has the IHC cancelled the bail granted to Lakhvi in April.
When the Pakistani government had challenged his bail in the IHC in April, it disposed of the petition with a direction that the trial court must conclude the case within “two months” and in case of failure, it would cancel the bail to Lakhvi.
Meanwhile, Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi told PTI that the case is likely to be concluded in one month’s time.
“The Mumbai attack case is likely to be concluded in a month as not many witnesses are left to record their statements,” he said.
However, he insisted that the ATC has not reverted to the old practice of one hearing a week and previous hearings did not take place as the judge was on leave.
Abbasi said: “The court is still holding the hearing twice a week. However, during a previous hearing the judge was on leave as it couldn’t be held twice a week.”
The case proceedings have been underway since 2009.
Mumbai attacks mastermind Lakhvi and six other accused are facing trial for allegedly planning and executing the Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people killed.
Lakhvi, 55, secured bail last December and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act.
He is currently out on bail and living at an undisclosed location.