The Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting in-camera trial of seven accused in the Mumbai attacks case, including LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, on Saturday adjourned the hearing till September 19 and remanded a recently arrested suspect to judicial custody.
No details of the proceedings were available due to a strict media blackout imposed by Judge Baqir Ali Rana, who is conducting the trial inside the high-security Adiala Jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi due to security reasons.
The hearings are being conducted in-camera and Rana has ordered a media blackout, citing national security concerns as well as the security of the accused and witnesses.
Sources told PTI that the judge adjourned the case till September 19 following Saturday’s proceedings.
It is not clear whether the seven accused have been formally indicted as yet. Lawyers representing the accused said they had been directed by the court to strictly adhere to the gag order and not to discuss the proceedings with the media.
Express 24/7 channel reported that Younas Anjum, the most recently arrested suspect, was remanded to judicial custody in Adiala Jail after the end of his remand period with the Federal Investigation Agency.
The court also declared eight suspects as proclaimed offenders or fugitives, the channel reported without giving details.
Shahbaz Rajput, a lawyer representing two of the accused, told PTI he was opposed to the in-camera proceedings.
“I protest against this media blackout. The whole world is aware of the allegations levelled against my clients and the authorities should now make public whatever evidence they have against them,” he said.
Rajput said the interests of his clients are being affected by the media blackout.
The five LeT operatives being tried by the anti-terrorism court are Lakhvi, communications expert Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq and Shahid Jamil Riaz.
They have been accused of providing training, financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications gear to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November last year.
No details are available of the charges against the two other suspects, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum. Judge Rana has also refused bail to Ahmed, a LeT-linked suspect who was arrested last month.
The judge dismissed Ahmed’s bail petition during a hearing on September 2.