Islamabad, Feb 26 (IANS) A special anti-terrorism trial court in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city Saturday adjourned the hearing of the 26/11 Mumbai terror-attack case till March 5.
The public prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Chaudhary Zulfiqar maintained before the court that “non-bailable arrest warrants of two prime accused, Ajmal Kasab and Faheem Ansari, have already been issued by the court on April 17 last year”.
“These were sent to the Indian authorities but they have not received these as yet,” he informed. “As per the Pakistani law, both accused need to be declared proclaimed offenders before conviction can take place,” he stated.
Defence counsel Khwaja Sultan has filed an application in the court under section 403 of Pakistan’s Criminal and Procedure Code (CrPc). Kasab has already been convicted in India, so the trial in Pakistan should be stopped, he maintained.
Ansari had earlier been acquitted of all charges by trial court Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani in May 2010. The Mumbai High Court later upheld his acquittal.
The hearing Saturday took place in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi in Pakistan’s Punjab province amid tight security, media reports said.
The court will hear the arguments of lawyers from both sides for declaring Kasab and Ansari proclaimed offenders March 5.
Earlier Friday, the FIA had withdrawn a petition in Lahore High Court after the court declared that “the accused were not absconding willfully”. The FIA has built its case around the confession of Kasab in India but the court had declared it “inadmissible” under Pakistani law.
Kasab has been in Indian custody since the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that left 166 people dead. The Mumbai High Court recently upheld the death penalty awarded to him by a trial court.