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More reason for them to not return

After Yakub's sentencing it is unlikely that the 35 absconding accused in the 1993 serial blasts case will return to the country, reports Mustafa Plumber.
Hindustan Times | By Mustafa Plumber, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2007 01:32 AM IST

It is unlikely that the 35 absconding accused in the 1993 serial blasts case will return to the country after the TADA court sentenced Yakub Memon to death.

Yakub is the first conspirator to receive the capital punishment and his sentence sets the precedence for what awaits

the other 35 conspirators, including mastermind Tiger Memon and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

"Yakub's case is the first where a convict was sentenced to death for conspiracy. The other 11 facing death have been sentenced for execution of blasts. This means the absconding conspirators will likely face capital punishment," said lawyer Waris Pathan.

"The conviction will be and has been as per evidence before the court. But it is also true that those accused who were likely to return (to India) will not now that Yakub has been given death," said lawyer Subhash Kanse, who was Yakub's defence counsel.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already issued Red Corner notices against Dawood and Tiger but both are allegedly hiding in Pakistan.

The other accused are said to be either in the UAE or in Pakistan.

"The 35 wanted accused in the TADA case are top bosses and would not be available so easily," said lawyer Shyam Keswani.

"The CBI is a toothless tiger. It has never been able to deport or arrest any fugitive wanted from a foreign land," he said.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said Yakub's sentence is a message to countries shielding wanted criminals.

"Yakub's sentence will put pressure on the international community to hand over the wanted accused," Nikam said.

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