The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack trial is expected to be wrapped up within a week, with only 35 formal witnesses remained to be examined in the case in which Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab and two others are charged with killing 166 people.
“Of the total 331 formal witnesses, whose affidavits were submitted to the court recently, the evidence of 296 persons was led this week,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told PTI.
“Only 35 formal witnesses remain to be examined either personally or through their affidavits. The affidavits of some of them would be considered by the defence team tomorrow while the rest would be cross-examined,” Mr. Nikam said.
After the exit of defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi from the trial, his junior K P Pawar has taken over charge as the main lawyer to defend Kasab.
The trial is expected to end within a week, Nikam said, adding that the court would hear arguments thereafter and record statements of accused, before giving its verdict.
Besides submitting affidavits of 331 formal witnesses, the prosecution has earlier examined 271 persons, including key eye witnesses.
A total of 30 witnesses have identified Kasab in the court as the gunman who had fired indiscriminately at people at CST and Cama Hospital on November 26 last year.
Of the 35 formal witnesses waiting to be examined, some of them are doctors who had treated injured victims of terror attacks. Few such doctors might be cross-examined by defence lawyer K P Pawar.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharati would step into the witness box on December 8 to throw light on a letter to the Centre seeking sanction to prosecute accused Ajmal Kasab, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed for alleged offences committed outside India, such as hatching criminal conspiracy in Pakistan, to carry out the attacks.
Additional Commissioner of Police Sanjay Saxena, who had officiated in post of Bharati at the relevant time, would also depose as witness to say that he had forwarded the letter to the Centre seeking permission to prosecute Kasab and two others, prosecutor Nikam said.
Kasab is facing charges of killing 166 persons while Ansari and Ahmed are charged with providing maps of targets to Lashkar-e-Taiba to carry out the terrorist attacks.