A Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trail of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks today adjourned proceedings till January 28 after the main accused,Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi,sought time to appoint a new lawyer.
Lakhvi made the request as his lawyer Khwaja Sultan Ahmed died recently.
The seven accused filed an application asking the court to adjourn proceedings for a few weeks as they were in a “state of shock” at the death of Ahmed.
Judge Shahid Rafique adjourned the case till January 28 and directed Lakhvi to appoint a new counsel before that date.
The judge further directed Lakhvi to ask his new lawyer to submit his passport to the court so that he could join the judicial commission that is set to go to India to interview officials who probed the Mumbai incident,sources said.
Malik Rafiq,a senior defence lawyer,said Ahmed’s death was a loss for the accused.
He said Ahmed’s son,Khwaja Haris,had been requested to represent Lakhvi.
“Let’s see whether Haris or some other senior advocate will represent Lakhvi,” he said.
The seven suspects,including Lakhvi,have been charged with planning,financing and facilitating the attacks that were carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists.
Little progress has been made in the trial over the past year due to various technical problems.
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