26/11: Prosecution Witnesses Testify Against LeT in Pak

Details about the distribution of weapons to the Mumbai attacks' terrorists were among the "huge quantity" of incriminating items recovered during a raid on two LeT training camps in Sindh province, a court conducting the trial of seven men charged with involvement in 2008 attacks was told today.

Deputy Director Faqir Muhammad and Inspector Khalid Awan of the Federal Investigation Agency provided details of items found in the LeT camps when they were cross-examined by defence lawyers during proceedings conducted by anti-terrorism court Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

After the in-camera hearing, FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told PTI that Muhammad and Awan were "very important witnesses".

During the cross-examination, the witnesses said they raided two LeT training camps at Yousaf Goth in Landhi area of Karachi and Mirpur Sakro area in Thatta district.

The witnesses said they had found a huge quantity of incriminating articles, including maps of Indian cities, details about the distribution of weapons to the terrorists who attacked Mumbai, photographs of the two boats used by the attackers and jihadi literature, Ali said.

Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was among those who cross-examined the prosecution witnesses.

In a separate development, defence lawyers filed an application seeking an assurance from the court that there would be no hindrance in the working of the Pakistani judicial commission that is set to visit Mumbai to cross-examine four witnesses.

Khwaja Haris Ahmed sought the cancellation of an earlier agreement between India and Pakistan that did not allow members of the commission to cross-examine the Indian witnesses during a visit to Mumbai in March last year.

Special Prosecutor Ali told the court that this agreement was no longer in force. The judge asked the prosecution to submit a copy of the new agreement regarding the judicial commission’s second visit to India and adjourned the case till February 23.

Ali also informed the judge that the defence lawyers had not submitted their passports and other documents to complete formalities for the commission's visit.

The commission will cross-examine four key Indian witnesses - the police officer who led the probe into the Mumbai attacks, the magistrate who recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, and two doctors who performed the autopsies of the attackers. Kasab was hanged last year in a jail in Pune.

Following the commission's last visit to Mumbai, its findings were rejected by the anti-terrorism court because the panel did not have the power to cross-examine witnesses.

Following negotiations between officials of the two countries in December, India agreed to allow the Pakistani commission to cross-examine the witnesses. Indian officials also sought an assurance that the panel’s findings will not again be rejected by the anti-terrorism court.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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