With the last three hearings in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case being adjourned, Pakistani officials have warned that the trial, going on for six years, could face further delay if India does not send 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements.
“The hearing of the case is adjourned without any proceedings during the last three consecutive weeks (hearings) April 6, 13 and 20, because the Pakistani government is still awaiting its counterpart’s response about sending (Indian) witnesses to Pakistan for recording statements in the case,” a court official said on Thursday.
He said the case may further be delayed if India does not send witnesses to Pakistan.
Pakistan has asked India to send all the 24 Indian witnesses to depose before the anti-terrorism court holding the Mumbai attack trial.
According to the prosecution, the trial court had completed recording the statements of all Pakistani witnesses in the case which has been underway in the country for more than six years.
“Now the ball is in India’s court. The Indian government should send all Indian witnesses of the Mumbai case to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial could further move ahead,” a prosecution lawyer had said.
On the other hand, the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad has not yet announced its verdict on the application of prosecution requesting to make amendment in the charges against the suspects, including LeT Operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, in abetment to murder of each individual in the carnage.
The court which is holding the trial of the seven suspects in the Mumbai attack case last month had reserved the verdict after the prosecution and defence lawyers completed their arguments on (prosecution) plea that amendment in the charges against all the seven suspects in abetment to murder of each individual in the Mumbai attack should be made.
The prosecution had sought the amendment to the changes “for further strengthening the case against the suspects”.
It had pleaded for including the postmortem reports of those killed in the attack.
The prosecution said India should be asked to send the postmortem reports of each victim of the Mumbai terror attack while the defence lawyers opposed it.
Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attacks.
Lakhvi, believed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, is living in undisclosed location after he was released from jail on a bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.