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Pak appoints new judge for 26/11 trial

A new judge was today appointed to conduct the crucial trial of seven key suspects in the Mumbai terror attack case, replacing Judge Baqir Ali Rana who asked to be taken off citing "security issues".

world Updated: Oct 24, 2009 19:21 IST

A new judge was today appointed to conduct the crucial trial of seven key suspects in the Mumbai terror attack case, replacing Judge Baqir Ali Rana who asked to be taken off citing "security issues".

Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan of anti-terrorism court replaced Rana on the orders of Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Khwaja Mohammad Sharif.

Rana was conducting in-camera the trial of the seven suspects, who included senior Lashker-e-Taiba operatives
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, in the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

The Chief Justice issued the order following a request from Rana to be taken off the case due to "security issues",
sources told PTI.

There were reports that Rana received threats from the LeT because the suspects were indicted in the absence of their
lawyers during a hearing on October 10.

Rana was also reportedly unhappy about pressure from the government regarding the case, sources said.

Though a hearing of the Mumbai attacks case was scheduled for today, there were no proceedings due to the changing of the judge. The new judge will begin hearing the case from October 31, sources said.