A Pakistani anti-terrorism court trying the seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case has adjourned the hearing till June 11 after prosecution lawyers failed to turn up for the second time in a week.
The trial of seven Pakistani accused was adjourned yesterday by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi. This is the second consecutive hearing -- May 28 and Jun 4 -- for which the prosecution lawyers did not turn up. The lawyers in the case on May 21 had asked the ATC to beef up their security saying Jammat-ud-Dawah (JUD) activists had been threatening them and the witnesses.
Sources told PTI that threats the prosecution lawyers had mentioned in their application they filed in the court on May 21 could have been the reason for not showing up in the court during the last two hearings. "We and the witnesses have been receiving threats from the JuD activists who want us to stop representing and pursuing the case," the prosecution lawyers had said. They further alleged that even a JuD activist was present in the courtroom in every hearing and threatened the witnesses outside the courtroom.
The prosecution chief also submitted a cell phone number to the court, from which the prosecution lawyers have been receiving threats from a JuD activist. The ATC judge Attiquer Rehman had asked the government to provide him and the lawyers of the case a "foolproof" security but the request seems to fall on deaf ears as no adequate security measures have been taken yet.
Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Anjum have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks in India's financial capital that killed 166 people in November, 2008.
All the accused are lodged in Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, some 300 kilometers from Lahore.