Kasab wants to retract confession

April 17th, 2009 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Mohammad Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist captured during the Nov 26 Mumbai attack, Friday sought to retract his confession, saying it was given under duress.
“After Kasab’s confessional statement was provided to us, he immediately said that this is not his confession… that my (Kasab’s) signatures were obtained by coercion,” his new advocate Abbas Kazmi told mediapersons.

The lawyer said he had moved an application before the court to retract the statement.

Kasab in his statement confessed several details, including that the conspiracy was to weaken the Indian government and capture Kashmir.

Kasab has also alleged that he was tortured under police custody.

As his statement was made in front of a magistrate, “the magistrate will come as witness, will be questioned and cross-questioned and then the court has to decide if the confessional statement can be relied up or cannot be relied upon,” the lawyer said.

He said that Kasab seemed to have realised the gravity of the serious charges against him. “Till yesterday, he was laughing and smiling (in court). Today, you could see the fear in his face.”

Kazmi said that he had not been able to speak to his client on length about his family background. “This is not a normal trial. I spoke to him for 10 minutes yesterday and five minutes today. The only time I get is a couple of minutes in the corridors under full police surveillance.

“I will carry out my professional duty with full responsibility,” he added.

Replying to a query, Kazmi clarified he was not trying to delay the trial by retracting the confessional statement. “How can I delay the trial? The trial has already started today.”

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