Court rejects Pak panel plea to cross-examine 26/11 witnesses

India says Pak govt had agreed to only recording of statements and not cross examine.

Written by Agencies | Mumbai | Published: March 16, 2012 2:27 pm

A metropolitan court on Friday rejected the plea of a Pakistani Judicial Commission to cross examine four key witnesses in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case,saying it was not permissible.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S S Shinde,however,allowed the Commission members to record the statements of the witnesses,including a magistrate who had recorded the confessional statement of the lone surviving assailant Ajmal Kasab.

The Indian government had earlier informed the visiting Pakistani panel that it would not be allowed to cross examine any witnesses. The Commission was also informed that they would not be permitted to meet Kasab,who has been awarded death penalty.

However,today,the Commission insisted before CMM Shinde that the panel be allowed to cross examine the witnesses so that those could be presented before a Pakistani Court hearing the 26/11 case as evidence.

Ujjwal Nikam,Special Public Prosecutor who had conducted the 26/11 trial,strongly objected to the cross examination by the Commission,arguing that the Pakistani government had earlier agreed to only recording of their statements. “Then why is the Commission seeking to cross examine them now?” Nikam asked,according to sources close to the proceedings that were held in camera.

Following rejection of their plea,the Commission members proceeded with the recording of the statements.

The first witness to record her statement was Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule,who had recorded Kasab’s confession soon after his arrest following the attacks.

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