Charges filed over 26/11 Mumbai attacks (Lead)

February 25th, 2009 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) The police Wednesday charged the lone surviving terrorist in last year’s Mumbai attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, with “murder and waging war” against India, filing the first charge sheet in the terror strikes that killed over 170 people.
The voluminous charge sheet, running into over 11,000 pages, also names 35 others for the terror attack.

The document was filed at the metropolitan magistrate’s court in south Mumbai, a top law officer said.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam said the charges have been filed against Kasab and two other Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) activists Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Mohammed, and others whom he declined to name.

Kasab, a Pakistani national, is being held in the Arthur Road Jail since he was captured during the attacks, nearly three months ago.

The lone captured terrorist had not been formally charged so far. Nine other terrorists were killed during the 60-hour carnage inside luxury hotels and a Jewish centre in Mumbai. The formal filing of charges now paves the way for Kasab’s trial.

“The trial will be conducted in the Z-security special court to be presided over by special judge M.L. Tahilyani inside the Arthur Road Jail precincts,” Nikam said.

“Special security arrangements are being made there. We are making efforts to complete the trial within the next three to six months,” he said, shortly after stepping out of the metropolitan magistrate’s court.

Kasab has been given a copy of the police charge sheet, Nikam said. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled on March 19.

The accused have been framed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Terrorist Act, Customs Act, and several others, he said.

The law officer moved an application before magistrate M.J. Mirza seeking permission to file a supplementary charge sheet since more investigations are required to be carried out given the magnitude of the case and the gravity of the offences. The magistrate agreed.

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