Abu Salem denies going to Sanjay Dutt's house and giving him weapons in 1993

Gangster Abu Salem has denied in his statement before the TADA court in Mumbai that he went to the house of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and gave him two AK-47 rifles and hand grenades prior to the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Dutt was convicted in the 1993 blasts case for possession of an AK-47 rifle and sentenced to five years in jail.

Salem today submitted his statement to the court under section 313 of Criminal Procedure Code, which enables the accused to personally explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him or her.

Abu SalemAbu Salem

Salem, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Khan, Feroze Abdul Rashid, Tahir Merchant and Mustafa Dossa are facing trial now as they were arrested in the case later. The court had in 2006 convicted 100 accused, including Yakub Memon who was hanged last month.

"It is also false that two or three days later he, along with other accused, (again) went to Dutt's house and brought (back) a bag containing two rifles, bullets and grenades," the statement says.

Salem also contends in the statement that his trial, after the termination of extradition order by Portuguese court, is "illegal, unwarranted and bad in law." 

In January 2012, Portugal's Supreme Court upheld an order which cancelled Salem's extradition from that country because Indian authorities slapped some charges attracting death penalty on him, violating the terms of extradition.

Extradition was based on false information and documents given to the government of Portugal, he adds. 

Further, CBI did not place all the relevant documents before the TADA court regarding the extradition and hence the court was misled into framing additional charges, it says.

The trial "on the basis of police custody, forced confession and new fabricated material" is illegal, it says.

The statement claims that Salem did not know any of the co-accused of the blasts conspiracy.

Salem has also given names of three witnesses whom he wants to examine: former CBI officer O P Chatwal and two officials from the Ministry of External Affairs. 

Meanwhile, the first defence witness, called by co-accused Feroze Abdul Rashid, today deposed and said he did not identify Feroze; the man in the dock was not the same person as his classmate Feroze.

During the cross-examination, when the prosecutor asked about the witness' company defrauding some persons to the tune of Rs 26 crore, he asked for water and requested that the deposition may be continued some other day. It was then adjourned.

Thirteen powerful blasts had ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing at least 257 people and injured 713.

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