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Ruling paves way for Lakhvi’s acquittal: lawyer

world Updated: May 04, 2010 00:38 IST

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A lawyer defending the seven Pakistanis, including LeT top commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks claimed on Monday that the verdict against Ajmal Amir Kasab would result in the dropping of the main charge against his clients.

The defence lawyer said they were confident that bail would now be granted to their clients under Pakistani laws.

“Our case in the Supreme Court for Lakhvi’s acquittal has become much stronger after the Indian court’s verdict,” said Khwaja Sultan, the counsel for Lakhvi.

“The main charge against Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, said to be the mastermind of the Mumbai carnage, was that of providing training and maps to the people involved in the attacks. The Indian court acquitted both Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin, who were accused of providing maps to Kasab,” Sultan said. “This means the main charge against Lakhvi is no more.”

Sultan said he would file an application seeking bail for Lakhvi in the anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of the seven suspects.

He also contended that the possibility of the extradition of Kasab or Ansari had been ruled out as an accused who is convicted or acquitted could not face retrial in Pakistan under the country’s law. “Under Section 403 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence if he or she is convicted or acquitted,” Sultan said.

He said under Article 13 of the constitution of Pakistan too a person could not be convicted twice for the same offence.

“Now Pakistan is not in a position to press India to extradite Kasab,” he claimed.

The Pakistani anti-terrorism court recently issued arrest warrants for Kasab and Ansari.