The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Wednesday came in for praise from the prosecution in the Mumbai terror attacks trial for its "contribution and cooperation" to the case.
In a warm gesture, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam acknowledged and appreciated the FBI's help which enabled the prosecution wrap up case against Pakistani terror accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and his Indian co-accused, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed.
"The FBI agents and their experts came to the special court and gave evidence, by which we were able to prove that Kasab and his nine associates had come from Pakistan," Nikam said.
When the trial was mid-way, a couple of FBI agents and experts had appeared in camera before the special court, but their names and evidence were not permitted to be made public knowledge. Three others had deposed before the court from the US via video-conferencing, which was also kept off bounds for the media.
Nikam said that Kasab and his friends had even tried to destroy the data in the global positioning system (GPS), but with the help of the FBI experts the prosecution was able to retrieve the missing data.
Nikam said it was with the co-operation of the FBI that the prosecution was able to wrap up the trial in a record time of seven months (discounting many holidays and gaps during the period from the appointment of the special judge Jan 13, 2009).
"Even David Headley, the Lashkar-e-Taiba operative currently in a US jail, had mentioned the names of some high ranking people in Pakistan in the Mumbai terror attacks. On the basis of this and other evidences recorded before the special court, besides Kasab's statements, we were able to conclude that the LeT and Pakistan Army officials were linked to the attacks," Nikam explained.
He mentioned how Kasab indulged in dramatics throughout the trial and attempted to scuttle and delay the proceedings, as he was taught by the Al Qaeda manual.
"Now, it is all over and ultimately we have closed the trial against him today. We shall now wait for the May 3 day of judgement," Nikam said.