First phase of 26/11 trial may end Thursday


Mumbai: The special court trying the 26/11 Mumbai attack case Monday urged the prosecution to complete the recording of evidence by Thursday, to end the first phase of the trial against Pakistani terror accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab and two of his associates, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Mohammed.

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Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has said that he would, in all likelihood, complete the ongoing process of recording evidence by that date.

So far, the prosecution has examined 274 witnesses and is likely to examine an Airtel executive from New Delhi, some government officials and lastly, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ramesh Mahale, who is the chief investigating officer of the 26/11 case.

This would be followed by the defence lawyers summoning their witnesses, if any.

Special Judge M L. Tahaliyani will then examine the three accused and allow them to record their statement on the evidence recorded against them.

Kasab’s statement will be the most keenly watched since he had initially retracted his own confession and later in an emotional outburst, again accepted his role in the terror attacks that left 166 dead.

It remains to be seen whether Kasab now alters his statements or accepts all the prosecution charges against him.

Then, the final arguments between the prosecution and defence will start, followed by the long-awaited judgement to be pronounced by Tahaliyani.

In all probability, the judgement is expected to be delivered by mid-January 2010.