Pakistani court indicts seven LeT operatives for 26/11 attacks (Lead)

Rawalpindi, Nov 25 ( A court here Wednesday indicted seven operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group, including its commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for their alleged role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The Anti-Terrorism Court of Muhammad Akram Awan, who is conducting the trial in the Adiala Jail here for security reasons, ordered the seven to appear before him Dec 5, Online news agency reported.

The order came on the eve of the first anniversary of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of 166 people, including 26 foreigners.

The accused, including Zarar Shah, Hammad Amen Sadiq, Shaheed Jamil Riaz, Mazhar Iqbal, Yousuf Anjum and Muhammad Jamil protested against their indictment as the evidence against them did not support the charge and pleaded not guilty. The judge rejected this.

During the hearing on Monday, the defence lawyers had demanded that Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 strikes be brought to Pakistan to face trial with the other accused.

They maintained that Kasab’s confession to Indian authorities formed a crucial part of the case built up by Pakistani authorities against their clients and, therefore, he should be brought to Pakistan to face trial.

Kasab has admitted his Pakistani nationality and that he was trained by the LeT.

Defence lawyer Khawaja Sultan said that the only evidence that the prosecution had brought against Lakhvi was Kasab’s statement, adding that of the 100 witnesses in the case, not one had named Lakhvi.

Pakistani intelligence agencies had arrested the seven men for allegedly planning the Mumbai attacks, besides providing financial assistance and other facilities to the 10 gunmen who had staged the assault.

India has so far submitted seven dossiers on the Pakistani antecedents of the 10 attackers. Islamabad says the evidence is not enough.