Hafiz Saeed’s release won’t affect 26/11 trial: prosecutor

MUMBAI - Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed’s release by a Pakistani court Tuesday will not hamper the 26/11 terror attacks trial at a Mumbai special court even though his being in custody was imperative for justice in the case, says Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

Nikam, who is fighting the 26/11 case, told mediapersons here Tuesday that the lone arrested Pakistani terrorist, Ajmal Amir Kasab, “had not only named Saeed in his confessional statement” but also disclosed the Lashkar chief’s role in the terror strikes.

As a result, this trial will continue as usual, Nikam said.

“Kasab had links with such people and the continued custody and arrest of Saeed was crucial for justice,” Nikam pointed out.

Saeed has been named as one of the wanted accused-absconders in the 11,000-plus page chargesheet filed by Mumbai Police in the 26/11 case.

“Saeed is one of the prime suspects in this case and he, along with others, had plotted the entire conspiracy to strike terror in Mumbai,” Nikam added.

Nikam said Saeed is wanted in the trial before Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani and the prosecution has applied for a non-bailable arrest warrant against him. So far the special court has not given its ruling in the matter, he said.

According to Nikam, since Saeed is in Pakistan, “it should have sent him to India to face trial on the basis of the investigation reports provided to that government by this country”.

There are a total of 35 wanted accused-absconders named in the 26/11 chargesheet who are in Pakistan and who are suspected to be involved in the Mumbai attacks. The prosecution has sought arrest warrants against each of them, Nikam said.


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