26/11 case: Witnesses fail to appear before Pakistani court
Islamabad: For the second time, four witnesses failed to appear before a Pakistani anti-terrorism court to record their statement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, prompting an annoyed judge to re-summon them.
"Four witnesses - both official and private - were to appear in the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad which held its hearing at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi yesterday. But they did not appear and no reason was given to the court in this regard," a court official told PTI today.
"They had also not appeared in a previous hearing. The judge expressed his annoyance and re-summoned them for next hearing," the official said.
The court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday. Earlier, a prosecution lawyer said that the prosecution would challenge in the Lahore High Court the rejection of its plea by the trial court to form a commission to examine the boat used by Mumbai attackers.
"We are going to challenge the trial court's decision to reject our plea regarding formation of a commission to examine the boat - Al-Fauz - used by alleged terrorists of Mumbai attacks in the Lahore High Court," he said.
He said the prosecution believes that the boat is "case property" and it needs a government commission to examine and endorsement in this respect.
On January 13 hearing, the court dismissed the plea of the prosecution. According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the alleged attackers used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from Karachi.
It said the security agencies had also traced the shop and its owner from where the culprits bought the engine and the boat while a bank and a money exchange company were also traced which were used for the transaction of money.
The multiple attacks in Mumbai killed 166 people. Pakistani authorities arrested seven Lashkar-e-Taiba members involved in the planning of the attacks including the terrorist group's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.
Six accused Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum have been in Adiala Jail for more than six years in connection with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008, that left 166 people killed.
Lakhvi, 56, secured bail in December, 2014, and was subsequently released from Adiala Jail on April 10, 2015, after the Lahore High Court set aside the government's order to detain him under a public security act.
A case has been underway against them in the ATC since 2009 for their alleged role in the Mumbai attacks.