In a U-turn, defence lawyer K.P. Pawar, appointed to defend Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, on Thursday told the special court that he does not want to cross-examine the 91 prosecution witnesses.

Mr. Pawar, who was appointed Kasab’s lawyer after the court removed Advocate Abbas Kazmi due to non-cooperation, had told the court on Wednesday that he would cross-examine 91 out of the 340 witnesses, whose evidence was submitted in the form of affidavits by the prosecution last week.

Mr. Pawar on Thursday after cross-examining 22 witnesses told the court that he does not want to cross-examine the remaining.

Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani, however, refused to accept Mr. Pawar’s submission and has summoned 34 of the remaining witnesses on Friday.

“34 witnesses will come to court tomorrow. It is up to you (Pawar) whether you want to cross-examine them or admit their evidence,” Mr. Tahilyani said.

The 91 witnesses include inquest panch witnesses, injured persons who were not eye-witnesses, doctors who treated the injured persons and doctors who conducted post-mortems on the victims of the 26/11 attacks.

Mr. Pawar on Thursday cross-examined 22 witnesses, who were panch witnesses of the dead bodies at St Georges hospital, G.T. hospital and J.J. hospital.

One of the witnesses, Prabhavati, declined the statements in her affidavit and told the court that she had not seen any dead body at the hospital where she had gone to visit her friend, Alka, a sweeper who was injured at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST).

“I did not see any dead body there. I do not know the contents of the panch statement. I just signed it,” Prabhavati said.

Mr. Pawar on Thursday also admitted the affidavit of one Ashok Dongaonkar, who had surveyed the damage at CST.

Mr. Pawar had on Tuesday said he wanted to cross-examine Ashok but changed his mind today.

More In: National | News