Pak court summons 4 more witnesses in 26/11 case

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court trying the seven accused including 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi in the 2008 Mumbai attack case today summoned four more witnesses to record their statements on July 1.

"The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad Judge today summoned four government and private witnesses to record their statements for next hearing," a court official told PTI.

"The court adjourned the hearing till next Wednesday," the official said after the hearing.

During the hearing yesterday, judicial magistrate Akram Abbasi told the ATC, hearing the arguments at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, it was true he had recorded the statements of two witnesses against the accused, including LeT commander Lakhvi.

"I had recorded the statements of the two witnesses against the Mumbai attack accused including Lakhvi. Their statements presented in the court are the same which I had recorded," Abbasi had testified.

Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi, who was released from Adiala Jail on April 10 on bail, did not appear in the court hearing today, despite no decision on his petition to exempt him from in-person appearance during the proceedings in the case by the trial court.

Under the law, it is mandatory for an accused released on bail to appear during court hearings.

The trial court has decided to hold hearing twice every week -- on Wednesdays and Thursdays -- to expedite the case, after the Islamabad High Court in April ordered it to conclude the Mumbai attack case in two months.

Lakhvi, 55, and six others -- Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum -- are accused of planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

The trial has been underway since 2009.

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