Mumbai suspect yet to receive charges: Pakistani lawyer

February 14th, 2009 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 14 (IANS) Pakistan’s efforts to prosecute its nationals allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks have been called into question with the lawyer of one of the six men arrested saying Saturday he was yet to receive a copy of the charges.

“A copy of the FIR (first information report) has not been received,” lawyer Shahbaz Rajput told reporters outside an Anti-Terrorism Court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi adjacent to the capital.

“This is very embarrassing as we don’t know under what sections (of the Anti Terrorism Act) the charges are being made,” Rajput said.

“How can we defend a case when we don’t know what the charges are?” he wondered.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Thursday Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency had registered an FIR against eight people for their alleged complicity in the Nov 26-29 Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners, and injured more than 300.

One of the suspects is Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai strikes and who is now in the custody of the city’s police. Six suspects have been arrested in Pakistan while one is still at large.

Rehman Saturday said Pakistan could seek Kasab’s custody if investigators needed him for their probe into the Mumbai attacks but India immediately shot down the idea.

“If Ajmal Kasab is needed for the investigation process, then India could be asked (to hand) him over,” Malik told reporters in Karachi.

India said there was no way this could happen. Prominent Indian lawyers also discounted any possibility of Kasab being handed over to Pakistan.

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