Pakistani terrorist Kasab claims he is a juvenileApril 17th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Captured Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab created a flutter in the Special Court holding trial into the Mumbai terrorist attacks as he said Friday that he was juvenile and his case should be tried before a juvenile court.
His government-appointed lawyer, S.G. Abbas Kazmi, after interacting with Kasab briefly, informed Additional Sessions Judge M.L. Tahilyani, the special judge presiding over the trial - that his client was 17 and thus not an adult.
“I request the court to transfer the case to a competent juvenile court for trial,” Kazmi urged on behalf of Kasab, who along with nine associates had gone on a killing spree in the city killing over 170 people.
Kazmi told the Special Court that his client had informed him that he was illiterate and is now aware of his birth date - according to which he was below 18 years of age on Nov 26, 2008.
Objecting to this, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that on three different occasions, Kasab had given his age as 19 and 21. So, he is a major and should be tried by the Special Court, Nikam urged.
Elaborating, Nikam said that during his interrogation, Kasab had mentioned his date of birth as Sep 13, 1987, which is also mentioned in the charge sheet. In his confession before an additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Kasab mentioned the same date and also in the register of the Arthur Road Central Jail where he is lodged.
The envelope containing Kasab’s confessional statement was opened before the Special Court here this morning when Kazmi said that his client “may retract the confession at a later stage”.
Rejecting Kasab’s plea, Special Judge Tahilyani said that from his physical appearance, the accused does not appear to be a minor.
However, at a later stage, if the court felt that he is a juvenile, then necessary action would be initiated in the matter, Tahilyani ruled while disposing of the plea.
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