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Pak yet to decide on India's proposal on video-conference

world Updated: Aug 19, 2010 15:49 IST

Pakistan has not yet decided on India's proposal to allow two of its officials to testify before a Pakistani court through video-conferencing in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks case.

"That is still under consideration and no decision has yet been made," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in response to a specific question at the weekly news briefing.

India recently turned down Pakistan's request to send a magistrate and police official who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai attacker, to testify in the anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of the seven suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Instead, India said the magistrate and the police official could depose before the court via video-conferencing.

Basit also noted that India's Solicitor General had reportedly said that the "Indian legal system does not bar Indian officials from testifying before a foreign court".

"So we are in the process of finalising this."

During a recent hearing in the trial of the seven Pakistani suspects, prosecutors filed an application asking the anti-terrorism court to allow the Indian magistrate and police official to depose via video-conferencing.

The court is expected to decide on the application during the next hearing on August 28.

Basit made it clear that Pakistan had never sought the deposition of the Indian officials via video-conferencing.

"We had requested India for the deposition of the two officers before a Pakistani court. And then the proposal came of video-conferencing...and that is under consideration," he said.

The trial of the seven Pakistani suspects, charged with planning and facilitating the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, has been marred by procedural delays and controversy.

Only two out of over 150 prosecution witnesses have testified so far.

The Pakistani prosecution's case is largely based on the confessional statement of Kasab, who has already been convicted and sentenced to death by a special court in Mumbai.