‘Pakistan court ignored evidence given by India’

Mumbai Police respond to MEA’s query on Lakhvi’s bail order

Updated - April 02, 2016 12:13 pm IST

Published - January 21, 2015 02:41 am IST - MUMBAI:

The Mumbai Police have conveyed to the Ministry of External Affairs that the Pakistani court which granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi — the alleged 26/11 mastermind and top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander — in the ongoing Mumbai attacks trial in Pakistan, has apparently not taken into consideration the evidence they submitted, The Hindu has learnt.

Responding to a letter from the MEA on the Pakistan court’s bail order, the police have said they can make only a prima facie determination on the merits of the court’s action as they are not privy to the Indian court report on the cross examination of four Indian witnesses by the Pakistani Judicial Commission which visited Mumbai twice.

“The Indian court had submitted its report in a sealed envelope and we therefore are not privy to what the court had opined. However, we have studied the order by the Pakistani court at length and it nowhere makes a mention of the evidence sent by the Indian court,” a senior police officer told The Hindu .

In March 2012, the eight-member Pakistani Commission visited India and examined four Indian witnesses to collect evidence in connection with Lakhvi and others facing trial in Pakistan. However, the report submitted by the panel was rejected by their court as the Commission members were not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses.

Eventually, the two countries arrived on a consensus to allow the Indian witnesses to be cross-examined by the Judicial Commission. In September 2013, the Indian witnesses deposed before the Pakistani Commission during its second visit. The hearing took place at the Mumbai’s Esplanade court and the evidence was recorded by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P.Y. Ladekar who later sent the same in a sealed envelope to the Pakistani court.

The MEA in its letter had asked the Mumbai police to study the bail order of Lakhvi issued by an anti-terrorism court of Pakistan. Lakhvi and seven others, including Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum, were arrested in 2009 for planning, financing and executing the Mumbai attack. In December 2014, Lakhvi was released on bail.

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