Describing Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed as "co-conspirators" in the 26/11 attacks, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that the trial court had erred in acquitting the duo by giving them the benefit of doubt.
Nikam cited 21 circumstances to establish how Faheem and Sabauddin were closely associated with LeT leaders Abu Kafa and Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, and had acted on their instructions to help carry out the terror attacks.
Nikam said both had prepared maps of target locations in Mumbai and passed them on to LeT in Pakistan that gave them to the 26/11 attackers.
Faheem had obtained a Pakistani passport on November 1, 2007 using forged documents. The passport was seized from him after his arrest in Uttar Pradesh in another case on February 10, 2008, Nikam said.
The passport carried Faheem's photo and entries showed that he left Karachi on November 15, 2007, and arrived in Kathmandu in Nepal on the same day. The Pakistani government had confirmed that he had stayed in that country, Nikam said.
Soon thereafter Faheem visited Mumbai in December 2007 and sought admission in a computer institute under a fictitious name of Sahil Pawaskar. He stayed under the same name in a rented house in South Mumbai where targets of 26/11 attack were located, although he owns a house in a Mumbai suburb where his family lives, the prosecutor argued.
Faheem stayed in Mumbai till January 3, 2008, and again went to Nepal. Between January 4, 2008 and February 1, 2008, Naruddin Shaikh, a close of friend of Faheem, met him in Kathmandu and saw Faheem giving maps of Mumbai targets to Sabauddin, said Nikam.
Nikam further pointed out that one of these maps was found in the pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismael who was killed during the terror attack.
Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More then asked why the map found in Ismael's pocket did not bear bloodstains or wrinkles in that case.
The prosecutor said that Ismael had suffered bullet injuries in the left portion of the body while the map was found in his right side pocket. Nikam however conceded that although there were blood stains on corners of right pocket the blood drops had not percolated inside.
Explaining the absence of wrinkles on the map, Nikam said it was illogical to expect this. However, one can expect marks of folds on the map. Wrinkles can appear only when the map is spoilt or crumpled by the one carrying it, he argued.
In this case, the map had folds but not wrinkles, he pointed out. To prove his point, Nikam demonstrated by folding two pieces of paper and putting them in his pocket. The court was shown that they bore marks of folds but not wrinkles.
Nikam argued that the trial court had failed to ask Faheem to explain how his photographs and handwriting appeared on the admission papers of computer institute in fictitious name. Faheem had neither denied nor admitted this.