A Pakistani anti-terror court on Saturday adjourned the Mumbai attacks case, in which LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others are suspects, for a week after hearing arguments by prosecution and defence lawyers.
There was no official word on proceedings due to a gag order issued by the court though sources told PTI that Judge Baqir Ali Rana, who is conducting the trial behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, scheduled the next hearing for October 17.
Earlier, both sides presented their arguments before the judge, the sources said. Lawyers representing the seven suspects told the court that the evidence against their clients was insufficient to indict them.
However, the prosecution said it had enough evidence against the suspects, including five members of the LeT, the sources said. They added that the suspects are expected to be formally indicted at the next hearing.
The trial is being conducted at Adiala Jail due to security concerns and the media has been barred from attending the proceedings.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said last month that the court would frame charges against the seven suspects at a hearing on September 26. However, the hearing on September 26 was adjourned as the judge was then on leave.
The Federal Investigation Agency, which probed Pakistani links to the Mumbai attacks, filed an interim chargesheet against five suspects on April 28. A second and updated chargesheet was filed by the FIA on July 18.
The seven suspects – Lakhvi, communications expert Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum – have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
They have been accused of training and providing financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications gear to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November last year.
On October 5, Judge Rana rejected the bail application of Younas Anjum, a resident of Khaniwal in the southern Punjab. Anjum had claimed in his bail application that he was implicated in the Mumbai attacks case.