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Lakhvi,Zarar in custody,chargesheet soon

Top Lashkar-e-Toiba commanders Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah have been arrested and remanded in 14 days...

Written by Agencies | Islamabad | Published: February 16, 2009 11:53 pm

Top Lashkar-e-Toiba commanders Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah have been arrested and remanded in 14 days’ custody of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in connection with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai,Pakistani media reported on Sunday. Lakhvi,Shah and several others — media houses differed on the exact number — were produced before judge Sakhi Mohammed Kahut at an undisclosed location on Saturday,the reports said.

Rehman Malik,chief of Pakistan’s interior ministry had announced on Thursday that six people had been arrested for “planning,financing and abetting” the Mumbai attacks. Lakhvi and Shah had been “located and were under investigation”,Malik had said.

According to Dawn,FIA,which has completed its preliminary probe,is expected to file a chargesheet against the suspects at the end of the remand. Seven people,including Lakhvi have been remanded,Dawn said. The daily did not name Shah as one of the seven.

Later on Sunday,Geo News channel said six suspects had been handed over to FIA. Dawn News reported FIA had got “physical remand” of eight suspects.

An advocate named Shahbaz Ahmed Rajput,who claimed he had been hired by the families of the suspects,appeared in court on Saturday and argued his clients had been put in “illegal detention”.

The lawyer said some of the suspects have been in detention since November,with no formal charges having been filed. He asked for an open trial as opposed to in-camera hearings,because “the entire world is interested in this case and it is also a matter of the court’s credibility”.

All of yesterday,Pakistani authorities kept the media guessing about whereabouts of the suspects. Unnamed western diplomatic sources told PTI that Lakhvi,Shah and Hamad Amin Sadiq—who is alleged to have facilitated the money transfers for the operation—were among the suspects being held. The ISI had questioned them before handing them over to the security agencies,PTI quoted the sources as saying.

It is believed the government intends to try the accused in a special anti-terrorism court at Rawalpindi’s high-security Adiala jail.

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