Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, one of the seven men facing trial in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case in a Pakistani anti-terrorism court, has asked the Lahore High Court to transfer it to a more secure court as defence lawyers purportedly face a threat to their lives from Indian intelligence agencies, and also as the judge hearing the case is “not impartial.”

The High Court will take up Lakhvi’s application on January 20, but made an interim ruling that adequate security measures and other facilities be provided at Rawalpindi’s Anti-terror Court 1, which meets in the Adiala Jail for this case.

Adiala is a maximum security prison. But the application, filed on Wednesday, says the defence lawyers fear being killed by the Research and Analysis Wing, the Indian intelligence agency.

It says each time there is a hearing, the lawyers have to wait outside the main gates of the jail without security until they get clearance from officials inside to enter, and they fear being targeted.

The application also mentions inconvenience inside the jail, such as the absence of a consultation room where the accused can meet their lawyers, and amenities like water and food.

The application expresses dissatisfaction with the “conduct” of judge Malik Mohammed Akram Awan.

The anti-terrorist court will meet on January 16 for the next hearing. At the last hearing, the judge dismissed applications from the accused for their acquittal on the ground that there was insufficient evidence against them.