An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Wednesday issued notices to seven accused of 2008 Mumbai attack case, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and the government on a plea to examine the boat used by the 10 LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.
“The Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad today (on Wednesday) held Mumbai case hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi and issued notices to seven suspects and the prosecution to present arguments regarding inspection of Al-Fauz boat parked in the port city of Karachi,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.
He said both the prosecution and defence lawyers would present their arguments on next hearing on 22 September. Last month the Islamabad High Court had set aside the verdict of trial court in Mumbai case for not allowing a commission to Karachi for inspection of Al-Fauz.
The HC had termed the trial court’s decision as “flawed and not in accordance with law” and allowed examination of Al-Fauz. The prosecution had pleaded that vessel should be made “case property”. Al-Fauz is in the custody of the Pakistani authorities in Karachi, from where the 10 militants, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, had left for India to carry out the Mumbai attack in November 2008.
According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the attackers used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from Karachi. It said the security agencies had also traced the shop and its owner from where the culprits bought the engine and the boat while a bank and a money exchange company were also traced which were used for the transaction of money. The 10 LeT militants had left Karachi on the boat on November 23, 2008. En route, they hijacked another boat, killing four of its crew. They forced the vessel’s captain to take them close to the India shores. The captain was killed when the vessel reached Mumbai’s coast.
According to the prosecution, all Pakistani witnesses have recorded their statements and trial cannot be concluded till recording the statements of Indian witnesses. LeT operations commander Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment of murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.
Lakhvi, believed to be the mastermind of the attacks, is living at an undisclosed location after getting the bail a year ago. Other six suspects are in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. The case has been underway for more than six years.