After a three-day gap, the 26/11 trial restarted on Thursday when the special court decided to record Ajmal Amir Kasab’s statement of guilt and proceed.
However, the drama in the courtroom continued with Kasab’s lawyer Abbas Kazmi asking to be taken off the case as his client had lost faith in him, the court suggesting he continue and Kasab assuring Kazmi that he had no issues with him.
The 21-year-old, the only surviving Pakistani terrorist, had unexpectedly admitted his involvement in the 26/11 carnage on Monday, leading to speculation that the trial would end and the verdict would be pronounced soon.
However, the special court chose to record Kasab’s guilt plea and said it would consider it at an appropriate stage. “I cannot comment on its evidential value at this stage,” judge M.L. Taheliyani said, after which the trial restarted with the recording of the next prosecution witness’s account.
“Aap ke khilaaf 86 charges frame kiye the. Aapne sab nahin kabule hain, lekin gunaah kabool kiya hai. Isiliye court ne decision liya hai ki yeh case chalega. (There are 86 charges framed against you. You have not pleaded guilty to all of them, you have only admitted that you are guilty. That is why the court has decided to continue with the trial),” the judge told Kasab.
To which Kasab said: “Theek hai (All right).
Kazmi, appointed by the court to defend Kasab, decided to continue as his lawyer after Kasab said: “Nabharosewali to koi baat nahin (There’s no issue of lack of trust). Maine to unko is baarein mein kuchh nahin kaha hai, pata nahin unko aise lagta hai toh (I have never said anything as such to him, I don’t know why he feels that I have no trust in him.)”
The court absolved Kasab of the charge of admitting guilt in order to protect his Lashkar-e-Tayyeba bosses. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had alleged that Kasab admitted guilt to end trial abruptly and prevent the prosecution from furnishing more evidence.