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Pak court adjourns Mumbai attack trial till June 17

Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi

Islamabad:  A Pakistani court, holding the trial of seven Mumbai attack case accused, including mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, today adjourned the hearing till June 17 as lawyers went on strike.

“Today, no proceedings were held as the lawyers were on strike to protest against the killing of a relative of the president of the Rawalpindi Bar Association,” a court official said.

The court office has fixed next Wednesday for hearing.

The last two hearings were also not held at the Anti- Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad because the judge of the trial court was on leave.

As the LeT operations commander and Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi has not bothered to appear in the court hearings since his release from jail on bail on April 10, the prosecution said it would raise the matter in the court.

In early May, Lakhvi had filed an application in the trial court requesting to exempt him from in person appearance in the court during the case hearings as he is facing serious threats to his life from as foreign agency and a Taliban group. The court has not yet given verdict on Lakhvi’s application.

The official said that under the law, Lakhvi is supposed to be present on every hearing in the Mumbai case till a decision on his plea.

Lakhvi walked out of the high-security jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court suspended his detention under a security act.

Subsequently, the Islamabad High Court had given a two- month deadline (by mid of June) to the trial court to conclude the case while disposing of the government’s plea challenging the bail to Lakhvi.

Fifty-five-year-old Lakhvi is living at an undisclosed location since his release. He and six others have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

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