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Pak court orders arrest of suspect for aiding 26/11 attackers

world Updated: Jun 06, 2009 21:27 IST

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has issued an arrest warrant against a man from Balochistan for supplying a boat used by the Mumbai attackers, even as the hearing of the case against five LeT operatives linked to the 26/11 strikes was today adjourned till June 20.

The anti-terror court of Justice Muhammad Akram Awan yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of Muhammad Khan, a resident of Turbat in Balochistan province, for providing the boat used by terrorists to travel to Mumbai.

The warrant was issued on a request from the Federal Investigation Agency, which is probing the role of Pakistanis in the Mumbai attacks. An FIA inspector told the court that Khan was wanted by the agency for questioning.

In February, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said the attackers travelled from Karachi to Mumbai in a boat hired from Balochistan.

Meanwhile, the trial of the five LeT operatives – Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al Qama, Shahid Jamil Riaz and Hamad Amin Sadiq – was today adjourned by Justice Awan till June 20.

The conduct of the trial has been affected as Justice Sakhi Muhammad Kahut, who was originally hearing the matter, was removed from his position as part of ongoing judicial reforms. Kahut retired some time ago and was granted an extension through a contract.

As part of judicial reforms initiated by Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, all judges hired on contract have been removed from their posts. No judge has been appointed as yet to replace Justice Kahut, sources said.

The FIA today approached Justice Awan to take up the case of the five LeT operatives and he adjourned the matter till June 20, sources said.

Even at the last hearing on May 23, the case was adjourned till June six as no judge was available to hear the matter. On May five, the court distributed copies of the chargesheet among the suspects. However, they are yet to be formally indicted.