A Pakistani anti-terrorism court, conducting the trial of seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, including its mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till January 14 after four witnesses could not appear in the court.
The court in Islamabad had resumed the hearing after a break of about three weeks.
“Four witnesses – three private and one government official from port city of Karachi – were to appear before the court on Wednesday but owing to fog their flight could not land here (from Karachi),” a court official said.
He said the prosecution informed ATC Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi about the inability of the witnesses to appear in the court because of their flight delay. On this, the court adjourned the hearing till January 14.
In the last hearing, four witnesses had testified against the accused.
The witnesses from Karachi had identified one of the accused who had purchased boats from them for ‘fishing’.
In previous hearings, the witnesses had identified Shahid Jamil Riaz as the one involved in acquiring inflatable boats used in the attacks.
The witnesses said Riaz and 10 other people had bought 11 inflatable boats for “fishing” from them.
They had also identified 10 men who were allegedly involved in planning and executing the attacks in November 2008 that left 166 people dead in India’s financial capital.
These 10 men were earlier declared ‘proclaimed offenders or fugitives’ by the anti-terrorism court.
The 10 proclaimed offenders were either trainers or facilitators of the accused who launched the attacks.
Pakistani authorities have so far arrested seven accused – LeT operations commander Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad AminSadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum.
On December 18, the anti-terrorism court had granted bail to Lakhvi, who was involved in planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks, but he was again detained on next day under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
However, Islamabad high court had suspended Lakhvi’s detention under MPO, evoking a strong reaction from India.
Just before he was to be released, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping.
On a petition filed by the Pakistan Government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the High Court order suspending his detention under the MPO.