26/11: Pak Promises Speedy Trial of 7 Suspects
Pakistan has sent the terms of reference for visit of the second Judicial Commission to India to cross-examine key witnesses in the Mumbai attack case to speed up the prosecution of seven Pakistani suspects in that country.

Without giving details of communication, official sources said the terms of reference were received recently and have been sent to legal experts for their opinion.

Pakistan had requested for a visit of the second Commission as a trial court there had rejected the findings of the earlier judicial commission that visited Mumbai in March.

Pakistani court had said that the report of the panel had no "evidential value" as it was not allowed to cross-examine the four witnesses and asked the panel to visit India again.

The four witnesses to be cross examined by the panel include the magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Ajmal Kasab, since hanged, the investigating officer of the 26/11 case and two doctors who conducted the postmortem of the nine terrorists killed during encounters with police and NSG in 2008.

Pakistan has been holding a trial against five accused including 26/11 master-mind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Alqama alias Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah and Shahid Jameel Riaz.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, during his meeting with Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, had requested for allowing the second Commission so that the legal formalities could be completed.

Shinde had conveyed to him that 26/11 was a test case and that Islamabad should ensure an early and a speedy trial for all the accused involved in the conspiracy.

A Pakistani Commission had come in march this year during which they only recorded the statements of the witnesses and could not question them.

Meanwhile, Malik told an Indian news channel that the Mumbai case would be put on fast-track after the visit of the 2nd Commission.

"We had requested for the second Judicial Commission and the moment it comes, I assure my Indian brothers and sisters and particularly those families who have lost their loved ones that it (case) will be put on fast-track," he said.

The Minister added: "We would love this case to be concluded as quick as possible. With the speed we are going, I hope that it will be concluded by end of December or maybe early January".

However, Lakhvi's lawyer Rafique Malik said, "The prosecution linger son in the case...The witness are not being produced properly and at proper juncture. The point is that witnesses should be examined and cross-examined on the same date".
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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