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Updated: November 18, 2009 15:54 IST

26/11 trial nears end

PTI
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This file photo shows a paramilitary soldier patrolling a lane near the Arthur road jail where the trial of 26/11 accused Kasab was underway on April 18, 2008. Photo: Vivek Bendre
The Hindu This file photo shows a paramilitary soldier patrolling a lane near the Arthur road jail where the trial of 26/11 accused Kasab was underway on April 18, 2008. Photo: Vivek Bendre

As the first anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks nears, all eyes are set on the special court where the prosecution is gearing up to wrap up the case against Pakistan gunman Ajmal Kasab and two others who are charged with killing 166 persons.

With the testimony of 250 witnesses and strong forensic evidence, the prosecution has prepared a water-tight case against Kasab, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told PTI.

The keenly-watched trial, which began in April, is expected to be over this month end with just a few witnesses left to depose before Judge M L Tahaliyani.

Kasab is confined to a specially-built isolated cell in the high security central prison and is guarded by a strong posse of Indo-Tibetan Border Security Force round the clock.

Altogether 30 eye witnesses have identified Kasab in the identification parade and in the court. Forensic experts have also given their opinion that the DNA of articles found from Kuber boat (in which terrorists landed in Mumbai) matched with the DNA of Kasab and five other slain terrorists.

The prosecution has also screened in the court CCTV footages of terrorists from cameras installed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Times of India Building (opposite CST), Hotel Taj and Hotel Oberoi—Trident.

Besides CCTV footages, other articles such as weapons and RDX seized from Kasab and slain terrorists have also been placed as evidence.

The prosecution is also relying upon the confession made by Kasab before a Magistrate wherein he revealed about the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan to commit terror strikes on November 26 last year.

The Magistrate has told the special court that Kasab had made a voluntary confession and that he had been given three opportunities to consider whether he wanted to reveal the information which was within his knowledge.

The prosecution is also banking on a plea made by Kasab in the court partly accepting his guilt in the crime. Kasab has accepted in the court that he was a part of the conspiracy but said he played a secondary role in the terror attacks as Abu Ismael was his leader. The gunman has denied that he had fatally shot police officers Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamate and Constable Tukaram Omble.

The prosecution is relying upon evidence tendered by foreign experts, who said the mobile phones, used by nine terrorists while talking to their Pakistan handlers during the assault, were imported by a Pakistan firm from China.

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