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Pakistan court grants bail to 26/11-attack-accused Lakhvi

With a weak defence evidence against Mumbai terror attack accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a Pakistani court in Islamabad has granted bail to the alleged mastermind in a second case, against surety bonds worth Pakistani Rs.200,000 (about $1,900), media reported.

The civil court of Mian Azhar Nadeem heard the bail application of Lakhvi on Thursday where his counsel, Rizwan Abbasi, argued that his client was wrongly booked in a six-year-old kidnapping case, Dawn online reported.

He stated that the case was registered against his client to detain him on the pressure exerted from India. The Anti-Terrorism Court granted him bail following a six-year delay in his trial.

The counsel observed that evidence recorded so far was based on hearsay and the judge granted bail to Lakhvi.

The counsel said the surety bonds would be submitted within three to four days. Police and capital administration authorities were of the view that Lakhvi, who is lodged in Adiala Jail under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) for a month, has little chance of being released.

The decission comes just a day after the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday overturned the suspension of detention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and ordered that he remain in jail.

The apex court has sent the case back to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to hear the arguments of both parties without rushing through it. The case related to Mumbai attacks will be heard again on January 12.

Lakhvi was arrested in February 2009 and was indicted along with six others Nov 25, 2009, for planning and helping to carry out the Mumbai terror attacks.

The six other men facing trial for their alleged involvement are Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid.

At the time of the attacks, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) that has been accused by India of being the perpetrator.

The 2008 attacks, which saw 10 Pakistani gunmen rampage through Mumbai and then lay seige to a five-star hotel for three days totally killing 166 people, sent bilateral relations into deep freeze. India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group LeT for the attack and handed over intercepts to use as evidence in the Lakhvi case.

One Pakistani terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, caught alive was tried and convicted of the attacks, and sentenced to death by a special court in Mumbai. He was executed Nov 21, 2012.


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