26/11 Attacks: Pak Judicial Panel to Visit Mumbai in Sep

Islamabad/ Lahore
26/11 Attacks: Pak Judicial Panel to Visit Mumbai in Sep

An eight-member Pakistani judicial commission will visit India from September 7 to cross-examine witnesses of the Mumbai terror attacks in order to take forward the prosecution of seven suspects.

Prosecutors yesterday informed an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad conducting the trial of the seven suspects that an Indian government letter dated August 23 had stated that the Pakistani judicial commission could visit Mumbai during September 5-6.

But Riaz Akram Cheema, part of the team defending the accused, told PTI that the commission cannot travel on the dates given by Indian government as there is no flight to India during this period.

"The commission will leave on September 7 for Delhi and it will need at least four days to cross-examine the four witnesses (in Mumbai)," Cheema said.

The letter mentioned that Mumbai's Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P Y Ladekar will coordinate with the Pakistani panel for the cross-examination of the witnesses.

The witnesses are the magistrate who recorded LeT member Ajmal Kasab's confessional statement, the chief investigating officer and two doctors who conducted the autopsy of the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks in November 2008.

This will be the commission's second visit to India. A report submitted by the panel after its first visit in March 2012 was rejected by an anti-terrorism court as the commission's members were not allowed to cross-examine witnesses.

The court was informed that the members of the commission are defence lawyers Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Riaz Akram Cheema, Fakhar Hayat Awan and Raja Ehsan Khan, prosecutors Hasnain Pirzada and M Azhar Chaudhry, Federal Investigation Agency Deputy Director Fakir Muhammad and Abdul Hameed, the record official of the court.

Judge Atiqur Rehman ordered the prosecution to get a gazette notification issued about the commission's visit before the next hearing on September 3.

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