Pakistani Court Delays Mumbai Attack Case for Month
By VOA News
25 July 2009
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has adjourned for more than a month a case against five men accused of being involved in November's terror attacks in India's commercial city of Mumbai.
During a closed briefing Saturday, a judge heard brief statements from both sides before delaying the case until August 29. The five suspects appeared at a high-security facility, Adiala Jail, in Rawalpindi, a garrison city just outside of Islamabad.
A defense attorney, Shahbaz Rajput, told reporters the suspects have not yet been formally charged.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained since last year's deadly siege that killed 166 people in Mumbai. India blames the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, and says Pakistan has not done enough to bring those responsible to justice.
On Saturday, court officials in Rawalpindi said defense attorneys asked for the prosecution to turn over evidence. The government argued for a closed trial because of the sensitivity of the case.
The suspects in court Saturday included Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba who is accused of masterminding the attack.
Earlier this week, a judge in India ordered the trial for the only surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks to go forward, even though the defendant pleaded guilty. The prosecution says it believes the defendant, Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, pleaded guilty in order to get a more lenient sentence.
Kasab faces 86 charges and faces the death penalty if convicted.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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