Pak court adjourns trial of 26/11 suspects till March 19

Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Saturday adjourned till March 19 the trial of LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks after prosecution lawyers boycotted proceedings when they were not allowed to take their security details into the makeshift courtroom in a heavily guarded prison.

The prosecution team went to Rawalpindi`s Adiala Jail, where the proceedings are being conducted behind closed doors for security reasons, with its paramilitary guards.

However, prison officials said regulations did not allow the armed escort to go into the jail, sources told PTI.

The prison officials said security had been further tightened at the jail as proceedings in two more high-profile cases related to the assassinations of former premier Benazir Bhutto and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer were scheduled for today, the sources said.

The prosecution lawyers then boycotted the trial and left the prison, the sources said.

As a result, there were no proceedings today and Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed adjourned the case till March 19.

The judge is expected to hear arguments on an application filed by the prosecution to declare Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, and Fahim Ansari, an Indian terror suspect, as "proclaimed offenders" or fugitives at the next hearing.

It is also expected to take up another application filed by defence lawyers to oppose the prosecution`s application.

The trial of the seven Pakistani suspects has been marred by repeated delays over technical matters.

The judge has been changed thrice and only one of more than 160 prosecution witnesses has testified so far.