In a significant move, the trial of seven Pakistanis, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was on Saturday shifted from a court in Rawalpindi to a new antiterrorism court here.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based antiterrorism court accepted an application from the prosecution to move the case to the antiterrorism court of judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi in Islamabad, sources told PTI.
Judge Zaidi’s court was set up recently to hear a case filed against former President Pervez Musharraf under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Till then, Islamabad had no antiterrorism court and all terrorism cases were heard by courts in Rawalpindi.
Legal experts said fresh proceedings would have to begin in the court in Islamabad and the judge would take some time to acquaint himself with the details of the case.
The government is yet to appoint a new chief prosecutor to replace Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency, who was assassinated by militants in Islamabad on May 3.
Besides the Mumbai attacks, Ali was also handling the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
Islamabad Police have arrested a militant with links to the Taliban for alleged involvement in Ali’s murder.
The Rawalpindi-based antiterrorism court has been handling the Mumbai attacks case since 2009 though the judge has been changed five times.
Ali’s killing also caused a setback for the case.
The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008.