One of the three Sikh men charged with attacking Lt Gen Kuldip Singh Brar (retd) here pleaded guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the Operation Bluestar commander, even as the accused were on Friday remanded in custody to stand trial from April 2.
Barjinder Singh Sangha, 33, pleaded guilty to the charge of "unlawful wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm" at the hearing in Southwark Crown Court.
Mandeep Singh Sandhu, 34, and Dilbagh Singh, 36, pleaded not guilty to the same charge.
Brar (78) was attacked on September 30, 2012, in central London while he was on a private visit here and was heading back to his hotel with wife Meena, who escaped unharmed and alerted passersby with her screams to call the police. Sangha pleaded not guilty to a second charge of assault on Meena.
"You are remanded in custody until April 2… Mr Sangha, you will be sentenced for what you have done at the conclusion of the trial and not before," judge Alistair McCreath told the three accused, who appeared in the dock wearing black turbans.
The accused sported long beards and spoke only to confirm their identities and register their pleas.
While Sandhu admits to being present at the scene but not having taken part in the attack, Dilbagh has refused to confirm or deny even his presence on the day.
The judge, describing the incident as a "serious attack", stressed that this lack of a definitive answer will be construed as a decision not to cooperate with the court.
Brar had sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries when suspected Khalistan sympathisers stabbed him in the neck and cheek.
The retired general was not present at Friday's hearing. The court was told that he would give evidence in the trial via live video link from India.