Lashker-e-Taiba ‘commander’ Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, facing trial with six others for his alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks, has filed a petition in Pakistan’s Supreme Court asking it to bar the prosecution from using Ajmal Amir Kasab’s confessional statement against him.
The petition was filed by Lakhvi’s counsel in the Lahore Registry of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. It asked the Supreme Court to bar the prosecution from using Kasab’s confession to Indian authorities against Lakhvi in the trial in the Rawalpindi-based anti-terror court.
It could not immediately be ascertained when and if the petition would be taken up by the Supreme Court.
Lakhvi’s counsel Khwaja Sultan claimed the prosecution had not levelled “any allegation” against his client about his “connection or interaction” with any of the co-accused and persons allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.
“The investigation of the case is based on the alleged confession of Kasab, who is in Indian custody,” Mr. Sultan said.
Though three charge sheets were filed by the prosecution, no witness had supported Kasab’s statement and Lakhvi was not “accused of giving training to the terrorists involved in the attack,” he added.
“The prosecution, in its challan (charge sheet), maintained that the petitioner was commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba but could not establish his link with the Mumbai attacks’ accused. Under article 43 of Qanoon-i-Shahadat Order (Pakistan’s law of testimony), a confessional statement of an accused can only be used against his co-accused if they are being tried jointly,” Mr. Sultan said.
Mr. Sultan further claimed that Kasab’s name was never mentioned in the ‘challans’ submitted against Lakhvi.
“Therefore the statement of Kasab cannot be used against Lakhvi,” he said.
Lakhvi and six others — Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum — are being tried for planning and facilitating the Mumbai attacks.
The prosecution has said that Lakhvi’s lawyers are causing “unnecessary hindrances” in the trial by filing petitions in higher courts. The hearings in the anti-terror court have often been affected by these petitions.