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2008 Mumbai terror attacks: First hearing under new judge held

Lahore: The first hearing under the eighth anti-terrorism court judge appointed to conduct the trial of seven Pakistani suspects in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks took place today with three witnesses deposing in the case. The three witnesses were produced in court in connection with Ajmal Kasab's statement and another attacker Imran Babar's identification as a Pakistani citizen.

The prosecution presented the three witnesses -- an official of Election Commission of Multan district in Punjab province, a government doctor of a Multan hospital and a section officer of the interior ministry, official sources told PTI.

"The doctor presented the DNA samples of Shahabuddin, who is said to be the father of Imran Babar, one of the 10 attackers involved in Mumbai carnage in November 2008," the sources said.

"The Election Commission official submitted the voters' list of the Multan district, some 350 kilometers from Lahore, in which the names of Shahabuddin and his other family members are enlisted," they said.

The sources said the section officer of interior ministry informed the court about the transmission of the Ajmal Kasab's statement.

The witnesses were also cross-examined by the defence lawyers.

This was the first hearing presided by Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi after his predecessor Judge Attiquer Rehman of Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi, who had been conducting the trial of Mumbai terror accused for a year, was transferred.

Rehman was the seventh Judge to be transferred since the trial began in 2009. No reason was given for his transfer.

The next hearing will take place on November 12.

LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Anjum have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks in India's financial capital that killed 166 people in November 2008.

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