A Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks on Saturday adjourned the case for two weeks, saying it was awaiting the Lahore High Court’s decision on a petition filed by the accused against the judge.
The LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the main accused in the case, recently filed a petition in the High Court asking for the case in the anti-terrorism court to be transferred from Rawalpindi to Lahore.
Lakhvi said he had no confidence in the anti-terrorism court judge, whom he claimed was being influenced by the government.
During Saturday’s proceedings conducted at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons, anti-terrorism court Judge Shahid Rafique said he could not hear the matter till the Lahore High Court decides on Lakhvi’s petition.
The judge then adjourned the case till October 22, chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar told PTI.
The High Court is expected to take up Lakhvi’s petition on October 17.
Judge Rafique said the High Court had sought the records of the case in the anti-terrorism court.
The prosecution insisted that its application accusing the defence of resorting to delaying tactics and calling for proceedings in the anti-terrorism court to be held on a daily basis should be taken up but Judge Rafique said he could not take up any related application till the High Court gives its decision.
The lawyers defending the seven suspects have filed a separate application opposing the Pakistan government’s move to send a commission to India to interview persons who probed the terrorist assault in November 2008.
This application filed in the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court is expected to be taken up on October 11.
There have been no proceedings in the anti-terrorism court for the past few weeks as defence lawyers have filed several petitions that the prosecution says are aimed at delaying the trial.