Staff Reporter

MUMBAI: The trial of the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack case reached its first milestone on Wednesday when the prosecution closed its case after examining the last witness from its side.

The next step is the recording of the statement of Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’ under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The special sessions court is set to record his statement on Friday.

Three witnesses deposed on Wednesday. They were constable Prashant Walavalkar, Assistant Commissioner of Police and chief investigating officer Ashok Duraphe and Additional Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti.

“We are closing the prosecution’s evidence,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court at 4 p.m. after Mr. Bharti deposed.

Addressing journalists outside the court, Mr. Nikam said: “This is the first ever terrorist trial in which 610 witnesses were examined in six months.”

Kasab’s lawyer K.P. Pawar told the court that his client was suffering from an illness. He demanded that ‘Kasab’ be medically examined. “I met him yesterday [Tuesday] to discuss the case. I feel he is not physically fit. He was giving me irrelevant answers. He must be checked before his statement is recorded.”

Feigning illness: court

As for his contention, the court remarked that ‘Kasab’ had been feigning illness for a month. “He is being examined every day. I have seen his medical papers. I will make them available to you. He had fever earlier, but he had no fever in the past two to three days. You cannot just adjourn the recording [of statement] just because the accused is [unwell],” judge M.L. Tahaliyani said. He also asked Mr. Pawar if he meant to say ‘Kasab’ was “mentally ill.” Mr. Pawar said his client was physically ill.

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