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Prosecutors Challenge Kasab’s Defence’s Stance: Pakistan

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Prosecutors Challenge Kasab's Defence's Stance: PakistanProsecutors on Saturday filed an application in an anti-terrorism court, challenging the contention of lawyers defending the seven Mumbai terror attack suspects, that Ajmal Kasab and Fahim Ansari cannot be re-tried in Pakistan. The prosecution team filed the application during Saturday’s hearing in the Mumbai attacks case conducted by anti-terrorism court Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed in the heavily guarded Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, it was reported. The prosecution’s application contended that the defence lawyers could not present an argument regarding Kasab and Ansari as they did not represent the two men, the sources said.

The defence lawyers had recently filed an application seeking the start of trial proceedings as soon as possible and recording of evidence against the accused. The application was filed under Section 403 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 13 of the Constitution, which state that no person can be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once. The defence lawyers’ application was apparently aimed at stymieing the prosecution’s efforts to gain access to Kasab, the lone surviving attacker involved in the Mumbai attacks, and terror suspect Fahim Ansari. Kasab has been convicted and sentenced to death by an Indian court. The same court acquitted Ansari, but he continues to be in custody in connection with other cases.

However, the prosecution could not present its arguments during Saturday’s hearing in the anti-terrorism court as chief prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar did not appear before the judge. Judge Rana subsequently adjourned the case till April 23. Shahbaz Rajput, one of the defence lawyers, said that the prosecution’s new application was aimed at making the case “linger on to the maximum extent”. He said it would lead to further delays in the trial.

The seven Pakistani suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, have been charged with planning, facilitating and financing the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The judge is conducting the proceedings behind closed doors at Adiala Jail for security reasons. The trial has been marred by repeated delays over technical matters. The judge has been changed thrice and only one of more than 160 prosecution witnesses has testified so far.

-HT

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Neha

    May 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    our government has to learn how to treat (a person like kasab) from US or arab countries.,
    the moment if they catch a terrorist he will be dead in an hour.
    11 crore is not a small amount of money., it would have been used for some noble cause.i dont know why politician dont understand these kind of deeds. god i dont know when my country will awake…!

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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Temple

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