Prosecution in the 2008 Mumbai attack today failed to produce the record of the case involving seven suspects, including mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, forcing Pakistan’s new anti-terrorism court to adjourn the hearing till February 3.
The prosecution told the recently-established Anti- Terrorism Court (II), Islamabad that the record of the case had been with the Islamabad High Court in connection with Lakhvi’s bail case.
“The government has challenged Lakhvi’s bail in the IHC and the case record is with the high court and it will be produced in the next hearing,” Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI after the hearing.
The new judge, Sohail Akbar, adjourned the hearing till February 3.
The government transferred the 26/11 case from ATC I to ATC II Islamabad on January 14 without giving any reason.
The ATC II was established over a month ago and the Mumbai case will be the first high-profile case for Akbar, who is from the Punjab judiciary.
Kausar Abbas Zaidi of the Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad, who had granted bail to Lakhvi, had been conducting the trial for the last three months.
Zaidi was the eighth judge conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Pakistan faced strong reaction from India following Lakhvi’s bail on December 18.
“Transfer of the case from Mr Zaidi may be seen in this backdrop,” a source in the court said, adding the transfer of the case might cause further delay in the case.
Lakhvi has been detained in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi under Maintenance of Public Order.
The 54-year-old and six others – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.