Kasab gets new lawyer to defend him

April 16th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 16 (IANS) A senior criminal lawyer from Mumbai, Abbas Kazmi, was Thursday appointed to defend Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist in the 26/11 attack.
Kazmi, who was appointed by Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani, will replace Anjali Waghmare, who was removed by the Special Court a day earlier on grounds of “professional misconduct”.

Another lawyer, K.P. Pawar, appointed last month, shall continue to assist Kazmi in the trial.

Kasab, who was present in the Special Court Thursday morning for the second day, had earlier demanded a Pakistani lawyer for his defence. However, his plea was rejected by judge Tahilyani.

However, the Special Court said if the Pakistani government or his family members wished to engage an Indian lawyer, they were free to do so.

Earlier Thursday, the Sessions Court Bar Council had suggested the names of a few lawyers to the Special Court to enable it to select one to defend Kasab.

Kazmi had said Wednesday that most lawyers were reluctant to come forward and defend the terrorist in view of strong public sentiments. He cited the instance of the attack on Waghmare’s home after her appointment last month.

The trial started Wednesday morning amidst tight security arrangements within and outside the Arthur Road Central Jail. A large contingent of domestic and international media, including television crews, are covering the proceedings of the trial of the lone terrorist caught after the Mumbai terror attacks of Nov 26, 2008, and of his two alleged associates.

-Indo-Asian News Service

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