Trial of 26/11 suspects adjourned for a week in Pak

Islamabad: The trial of seven Pakistani men, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks was today adjourned for a week at the request of a defence lawyer.

Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lakhvi, submitted an application that asked the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court to put off the hearing as he was unwell.

Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman accepted his request and adjourned the case till September 1.

The court summoned four prosecution witnesses to appear at the next hearing, sources told PTI.

At the last hearing on August 4, the case was adjourned for three weeks after defence lawyers were unable to come to court due to the cancellation of a flight because of bad weather.

Lawyers representing Lakhvi and the other accused were unable to travel from Lahore to Rawalpindi, where the hearings are being held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail for security reasons.

At a recent hearing on July 28, the court did not record the statements of two Pakistani officials after defence lawyers raised legal objections to their testimony.

The move came in the wake of Judge Rehman?s decision to reject the report prepared by a Pakistani judicial commission that visited Mumbai to probe the attacks.

The judge accepted the defence lawyers` arguments that the testimony of Pakistan officials based on material provided by India had no legal value since the court had already rejected the commission?s report which too contained material provided by India.

The seven suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people in November 2008. Their trial has been hit by countless delays and the judge has been changed five times.