Pakistan’s efforts to prosecute five Lashker-e-Taiba operatives accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks has apparently run aground with an anti-terrorism judge on Saturday again adjourning the hearing of the case against them till July 4.
The conduct of the trial has been affected as Justice Sakhi Muhammad Kahut, the judge who was hearing the matter,
was removed from his position as part of judicial reforms.
There has been no movement in the case since May 23. Justice Muhammad Akram Awan, the judge in anti-terror
court number 1 in Rawalpindi, on Saturday adjourned the case for a fortnight. The case against the five LeT operatives was being heard by anti-terror court number 2.
The Federal Investigation Agency had approached Justice Awan to take up the case on June 6 and he then adjourned the matter till June 20. When the matter was brought before him again today, he ordered another adjournment, sources said.
Shahbaz Rajput, the counsel for the five LeT operatives, told PTI that the matter had been adjourned as no judge had been appointed as yet for anti-terror court number 2. Authorities have framed charges against the five LeT operatives – Zaikur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al Qama, Shahid Jamil Riaz and Hamad Amin Sadiq – under the Anti-Terrorism Act, Pak Penal Code and a cyber crimes law.
On May 5, the court distributed copies of the chargesheet among the suspects. However, they are yet to be formally indicted.