After getting into denial mode, gunman Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab on Thursday sought to use counter questioning as a method of retracting his statement given before a magistrate in the 26/11 case.

The special sessions court was reading out to him an account of the activities of the terrorists on board the trawler ‘Kuber,’ their landing on Mumbai’s shore and the massacre at the Chhatrapati Shivaji rail terminus, as stated in his confession. Kasab continued to deny everything.

“You called [Abu] Hamza on the satellite phone,” the court asked Kasab.

“What’s a satellite phone?” the lone surviving gunman queried.

“You suggested to Abu Ismail that Kuber’s navigator should be finished off.” “Who I?”

When such replies continued, judge M.L. Tahaliyani said: “You are asking me questions [when I am the one supposed to be doing that].”

When Mr. Tahaliyani asked Kasab what was the distance from where the police shot at him in the hand in custody, he demonstrated how his face was turned in the opposite direction when the shots were fired.

The court has completed, up to 95 per cent, the recording of Kasab’s statement under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It will resume hearing on January 6, 2010.

The court meanwhile issued a show-cause notice to Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid, for carrying a distorted version of the proceedings.

A news report about a lacuna in the probe said the court had “reprimanded” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam for shoddy investigation, when that was not the case. Mr. Tahaliyani only pointed to an aspect of the investigation, where a piece of writing had not been probed. He commented before Mr. Nikam that the investigators should have explored the angle. When Mr. Nikam objected to the report, saying it purposely maligned his image, and moved an application, the court ordered the newspaper to give an explanation by January 6 next.

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