Material cited as crucial piece of evidence in the Kasab death sentence case

Justices Aftab Alam and C.K. Prasad of the Supreme Court will watch in the chamber the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the 26/11 terrorist attack provided by the Maharashtra government as a crucial piece of evidence in the Kasab death sentence case.

The Bench will also hear the intercepted telephonic conversations between the executors and their Pakistani handlers prior and during the Mumbai attack.

It agreed to watch the footage and hear the conversations after senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Maharashtra submitted that the material was important evidence relating to conspiracy and to show that the strikes were premeditated and masterminded in Pakistan.

He traced the sequence of events from the time Kasab and his associates landed in Mumbai till the showdown in Taj. “From the diary and intercepts of telephonic conversation between the terrorists and their handlers, three things are clear — that the attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 was pre-meditated, involving 10 terrorists who were from Pakistan.”

He said while the attack was launched at Hotel Taj, the terrorists were interacting with their Pakistani handlers. Mr. Subramaniam explained to the judges with the help of maps how Kasab and his associates carried out their operations meticulously.

At one stage when he was explaining the role of one Kharak Singh, whose name figured in the satellite telephonic intercepts, Justice Aftab Alam asked “who is he.” Mr. Subramaniam revealed interesting details of Kharak Singh, saying he was a fictitious name. “The Maharastra ATS feels he is from Karachi and one of the conspirators who talked to other terrorists planning the Mumbai attack. To mask his identity Kharak Singh bought 5 DID numbers-Direct Inward Calling Numbers from a New Jersey Company-Callphonex [voice over internet protocol] owned by Nazir, a Jordanian. This Callphonex operated in a shack in New Jersey,” counsel said “These 5 DID numbers were purchased from Voxpole, an Austrian company. Kharak Singh used to call from the DID numbers to Callphonex, which routed his calls to other numbers so that Kharak Singh's identity was not revealed. Kharak Singh used two email IDs, one in Yahoo and another in Hotmail to chat and email with Nazir. Kharak Singh's mail id was contacted by 5 people from Pakistan and Russia. The FBI found out that payments were made to Callphonex from Karachi.”

Mr. Subramaniam said: “Kharak Singh used Callphonex till November 24, 2008 and thereafter his account expired and his email ids terminated in January 2009.” When Justice Alam asked, “Can't you find out who Kharak Singh is,” counsel said: “Kharak Singh is a fictitious name. I don't want to say more on this now because there are still 36 accused wanted to be apprehended in this terror attack.”

Mr. Subramaniam also read out a few transcripts of taped conversations between the terrorists and Pakistani handlers. The transcripts showed the handlers asking the terrorists at Taj to put out the fire on the curtains and doors so that rescue could be delayed. The victims were termed “Rumali.”

The transcripts also showed that there was three-way calls; terrorists talking to others in Mumbai and to the Pakistani handlers and between themselves. Arguments will continue on Thursday.

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