Pakistan Charges 7 in Mumbai Attacks
Sean Maroney | Islamabad 25 November 2009
Pakistani prosecutors have charged seven men with planning and helping to carry out last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, which killed more than 160 people.
The indictments come on the eve on the first anniversary of the 60-hour assault on India's financial center, Mumbai.
All seven suspects have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors accuse the men of belonging to the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, which is based in Pakistan.
Both India and the United States have accused the group of orchestrating the attacks.
The proceedings have been taking place behind closed doors at a maximum-security prison in Rawalpindi, just outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
An attorney for the defendants, Rajput Shahbaz, says he believes his clients are innocent and that so far, the judicial system has not treated them fairly.
"Whatever has been done today is part of the external pressures," he said.
The defense attorney would not elaborate on what he called "external pressures," but India has been pressing its neighbor to prosecute or hand over the suspects before the two rival nuclear powers resume peace talks.
India has accused two of the defendants, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah, of masterminding the assault. It also has handed over to Pakistan several dossiers of what it says is evidence proving the defendant's guilt.
Top Pakistani officials maintain the evidence is insufficient.
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