The trial of seven Pakistani suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks was on Saturday adjourned till June 1 as the government is yet to appoint a chief prosecutor to handle the case.
The trial suffered a major
setback when chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency was gunned down by suspected militants in Islamabad on May 3.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court adjourned the case for a week without any proceedings during Saturday's hearing.
The judge also reserved his decision on an application filed by the slain chief prosecutor to transfer the case to a court in Islamabad.
"As the jurisdiction of the case within Islamabad because the FIR was registered there, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali had filed an application for transferring the case," Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the lawyer for Lakhvi, told PTI.
Paying tribute to the slain prosecutor, Ahmed said, "Chaudhry Zulifqar was a dedicated prosecutor and he was handling a number of high-profile cases professionally".
He said Ali's assassination was a huge loss to the country.
Asked about the impact of the assassination on the case, Ahmed said: "Certainly, it will have an impact as Ali was conducting the case very well".
Another lawyer associated with the case told PTI that the incoming PML-N government was expected to appoint a new chief prosecutor to handle the Mumbai case.
"The PML-N government, which is likely to take charge by June 1, will appoint the new prosecutor," said the lawyer, who did not want to be named.
The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008.