Arrest warrants issued against 26/11 co-accused

August 12th, 2010 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 12 (IANS) The Bombay High Court Thursday issued arrest warrants against 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks co-accused Faheem Ansari and Sahabuddin Ahmed, who were acquitted by a special court three months ago.
A division bench of Justice Vijaja Tahilaramani and Justice Ranjana Desai issued the warrants against the two while admitting an appeal by the Maharashtra government challenging the trial court’s verdict acquitting them on “doubtful” evidence against them.

Last May 3, the special court which conducted the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack trial sentenced to death the prime accused, Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, who was the only survivor of the 10 Pakistanis who carried out the attack.

Ansari was accused of carrying out recce of various Mumbai locations, drawing maps of the targeted sites and handing them to Ahmed, an alleged operative of the terrorist organisation, Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Ahmed had been charged for passing on the maps to the masterminds based in Pakistan for use by the 10-member group of terrorists, including Kasab, to carry out the Mumbai terror attack which left 166 dead and many more injured.

In its appeal, the state government contended that the trial court had erred while giving its verdict though strong evidence was produced along with an eyewitness Narruddin Sheikh’s deposition.

Sheikh had met Ansari in Nepal in January 2008 and the maps were handed over to Ahmed in his presence.

Meanwhile, lawyers from the prosecution and defence side Thursday said that they would jointly require more than five months to argue their respective cases before the high court where the confirmation of the death sentence for Kasab came up for hearing.

Subsequently, Kasab’s state-appointed lawyer Amin Solkar also demanded three months’ time to argue his side in the matter.

Solkar also sought additional time to file the appeal against the death sentence on behalf of Kasab, stating that it would be ready only by mid-September.

He argued that the charge-sheet against Kasab was a voluminous one and he would need time to study it carefully before proceeding in the matter.

However, the judges asked him to file his appeal by Aug 30, when the matter will come up for further hearing.

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