In a fresh setback to India in the 2008 Mumbai attack trial, a Pakistani court has dismissed the government’s petition seeking voice samples of mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the 26/11 case.
On Monday, the Islamabad High Court dismissed a petition filed by the prosecution that sought voice samples of the suspects so that they could be compared with the communication intercepted by Indian intelligence. The samples were then supposed to have been presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) as evidence against the 7 suspects in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case that killed 166 people.
Twice before, in 2011 and 2015, the issue of obtaining voice samples of Lakhvi had been dismissed by the trial court on the grounds that “no such law exists that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused”.
The prosecution had then argued that the samples were essential for concluding the investigation of this high profile case as their petition said that the Indian intelligence agencies had intercepted communication between the suspects and the terrorists in the 26/11 attack. In the recorded intercepts, it is alleged that the suspects were instructing the terrorists.
The trial court had also rejected another prosecution petition requesting the court to declare Ajmal Kasab and Faheem Ansari absconders in order to meet legal formalities.
Pakistani authorities had arrested 7 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) members involved in the planning of the Mumbai terror attacks. The 7 arrested also included LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind.
Lakhvi 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.
Six other accused – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have now been in Adiala Jail for more than six years.
A trial is underway against them at the ATC since 2009.
(With inputs from PTI)