One of the men who killed lawyer Shahid Azmi, defence counsel for 26/11 accused Fahim Ansari, had spoken to Azmi 10 days before shooting him.
Azmi (33) was shot dead at his Kural office on February 11.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said on Wednesday Devendra Jagtap (28), the contract killer who was arrested with two accomplices on Tuesday, had called Azmi from a public telephone booth.
Jagtap, the main executor of the murder, revealed this during his interrogation.
“He spoke to Azmi under the pseudonym, Sunil. He told Azmi he had been arrested for murder and wanted to hire him as his lawyer,” Maria said.
Azmi, Maria said, told Jagtap that he could meet him any time “in his chamber” at Taximen’s colony, Kurla. The purpose of the call was to find out where Azmi usually met his clients.
Sources in the crime branch said Jagtap had trained his friend from his village in Ahmednagar, Pinto Dhagle, for the job. Pinto, who did odd jobs in his village was desperate for money. Jagtap went to his village in Akole and gave Dhagle a crash course in firing on a deserted hillock.
Dhagle had fired the last shot at Azmi before the trio fled. He was paid Rs 25,000 for the job while Jagtap kept Rs 50,000. The balance was paid to the absconding shooter, Hasmukh Solanki.
The motive is still unknown.