Pak SC seeks Kasab's confessional statement
Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, convicted in India for his role in the Mumbai attacks, while hearing LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's petition seeking his acquittal in a case related to 26/11 strikes in Islamabad.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and Justices Ghulam Rabbani and Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday gave the directive after taking up the petition filed by Lakhvi, who is being tried with six others by the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on charges of planning and facilitating the Mumbai attacks.
The apex court bench also took up a separate petition filed by the prosecution to challenge the Lahore High Court's verdict that Kasab's statement cannot be used in Pakistani courts.
Lakhvi's counsel Khwaja Sultan told the bench that his client was declared an accused in the Mumbai attacks case in the anti-terrorism court in the light of Kasab's statement recorded by an Indian magistrate.
Sultan contended that Kasab's statement was not before any Pakistani court and so Lakhvi cannot be named as an accused in the case.
After hearing Sultan's arguments, Chief Justice Chaudhry directed the prosecution to submit Kasab's confessional statement in Hindi and English in the Supreme Court and adjourned the matter till May 11.
Special Public Prosecutor Malik Rab Nawaz Noon, who is heading the prosecution team, told PTI that the apex court had sought Kasab's statement with the signature of the Indian magistrate who had recorded it.
Noon said the prosecution, in its petition related to the Lahore High Court's verdict, had asked the apex court to expunge certain observations made by the High Court.
Lakhvi and the six other suspects – Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum and Jamil Ahmed – have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act, Pakistan Penal Code and a cyber crimes law.
The next hearing in their trial by the anti-terrorism court is scheduled for May 8.