A Pakistani anti-terror court conducting the trial of seven suspects for their involvement in the 26/11 attacks on Saturday accepted an application from the prosecution for Ajmal Kasab to be declared a fugitive and adjourned the case for a week.
The Federal Investigation Agency, which probed Pakistani links to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, submitted an application in the anti-terrorism court of Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan asking for Kasab to be declared a "proclaimed offender" or a fugitive.
The court admitted the application and scheduled the next hearing for March 20, when it will hear arguments on the plea by the prosecution and defence lawyers.
"The application was taken up first as it was a procedural matter," Shahbaz Rajput, a lawyer representing some of the accused said.
Sources said several witnesses were scheduled to testify during today's hearing but could not do so as the court took up the FIA's application.
The FIA's plea had become necessary as a bench of the Lahore High Court had ruled earlier this week that Kasab's trial could not be separated from that of the seven accused – Lashker-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.