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Mumbai conspirators' trial held in secrecy
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 08 - 2009

Pakistan kept a veil of secrecy over court proceedings Saturday in the case against five militants accused of planning attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people last November.
The court convened in camera at a jail in Rawalpindi, the garrison town next to Islamabad, and lawyers were under instruction not to discuss the case.
“Today's hearing has ended but we can't share any details with you; we have been barred from divulging any details of the trial,” one of the lawyers told journalists as he left the jail. He refused to be identified.
The judge ordered a weeklong delay because the prosecution failed to provide one defense lawyer copies of the charge sheet, said Shahbaz Rajput, who is representing one of the suspects. He said a new hearing was scheduled for Sept. 5.
“Once the copies are provided and the court is satisfied that the prosecution has completed the charge sheet, only then will the suspects be charged,” Rajput said.
Media were not allowed into the anti-terrorism court proceedings, which were held in a maximum security prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
A US Embassy spokesman said that US officials had not sought permission to attend the trial as observers. US nationals were among those killed during the militants' three-day killing spree in Mumbai.
One of the five, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, is accused of masterminding the attacks, while the four others acted as facilitators and managed funds and hide-outs used by the attackers, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said.
Indian security forces killed nine of the Mumbai attackers. The only suspect caught alive, Ajmal Kasab, a 21-year-old Pakistani, confessed in an Indian court in July to taking part.
India last week sent a dossier of new evidence it says links Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, one of the founders Lashkar-e-Taiba, to the attacks.
Pakistan arrested Saeed in December after India provided a dossier of evidence in a rare sharing of intelligence. But in June, a Pakistani court freed Saeed from house arrest, saying there was not enough evidence to hold him.

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