Pakistani prosecutors have sought contempt proceedings against the lawyer of the seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks for claiming that the evidence in the case was a "sham".
"We have prayed for contempt proceedings against the defence counsel as he violated the court's order by holding a press conference," Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Mohammed Azhar told PTI. "They (defence lawyers) had themselves sought an in-camera trial in the case and they violated this," he said.
The prosecution sought the contempt proceedings during today's hearing of the Mumbai case by an anti-terrorism court at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. A witness was also cross-examined during the hearing. "One witness was cross-examined and our prayer (for contempt proceedings) will be taken up at the next hearing on December 11," Azhar said.
On the eve of fifth anniversary of the brazen Mumbai terror attacks, the new lawyer of the seven accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, told a news conference in Islamabad that the evidence provided by India was a "sham".
"The dossiers provided by India is information and not evidence as needed by the court. The evidence provided by India is sham," Raja Rizwan Abbasi told reporters.
He repeated the claim while speaking to Pakistani news channels. Prosecution sources said they would not react publicly to Abbasi's claims but would take them up legally.
Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum were arrested in July 2009 for their alleged role in the Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured.
Pakistan has acknowledged that the conspiracy behind the attacks was hatched on its soil. However, it claimed India has not provided enough evidence for action against the accused, a charge vehemently denied by New Delhi.