KASAB TRIAL ENDS, VERDICT ON MAY 3

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FIFTEEN months after 26/11, the trial against Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistan terrorist caught alive, and two Indian conspirators, concluded in a special court. The trial had begun almost a year ago. Special judge M L Tahaliyani reserved his judgement after the prosecution and defence counsels wrapped up their final arguments and would pronounce the verdict on May 3.

If the accused are pronounced guilty, the court would on that day call upon the prosecution and defence lawyers to put forth their arguments on quantum of sentence.

The prosecution examined as many as 653 witnesses to prove their case that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) carried out the dastardly attacks by sending 10 jihadi terrorists from Karachi. The court also examined four witnesses, including two National Security Guard (NSG) commandos, who led the teams in operations to fight the terrorists.

Police had filed the chargesheet in the case on February 26 last year after which the case was committed from magistrate’s court to sessions court on March 9, 2009. A separate court was established in high-security Arthur Road central prison here to hear the case.

Kasab pleaded that he was a juvenile, but the court rejected his claim after examining prosecution witnesses and experts and ruled that he was over 20 years of age. On May 8, the first witness stepped into the box, saying he had seen Kasab gunning down sub-inspector Tukaram Omble at Girgaum Chowpatty.

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