In a fresh setback to the Mumbai attack trial, a Pakistani court has dismissed the Pakistani government’s petition seeking voices samples of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the case. 

The prosecution had filed an application in the Islamabad High Court seeking voice samples of the suspects to compare it with the communication intercepted by Indian intelligence. They wanted to present these before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) as evidence against the seven suspects in the Mumbai attack case. in November, 2008, which left 166 people killed.

b’A reporter talks on her phone as smoke is seen coming from Taj Hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008 | Source: Reuters’

The Islamabad High Court on Monday, January 25, dismissed the petition. In 2011 and 2015, a trial court had also dismissed the same petition on the grounds that “no such law exists that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused”. The prosecution’s petition had said that Indian intelligence agencies had intercepted communication between the suspects and the terrorists in connection with the Mumbai attack in 2008. 

The trial court had also rejected another petition requesting the court to declare Ajmal Kasab and Faheem Ansari absconders. The prosecution had told the court that unless the two men were declared absconders, the trial against them would remain “inconclusive” as both have been cited as accused in the Mumbai attack case by Indian authorities and were also wanted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that was probing the 26/11 case.

b’School children in Jammu make a formation that reads 26/11 to pay tribute to the victims of the Mumbai terror attack | Source: PTI’

Pakistani authorities had arrested seven Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) members involved in the planning of the attack, including the mastermind, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, in 2009-10. Six accused—Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum—have been in Adiala Jail for more than six years. Lakhvi, 56, secured bail in December, 2014, and was subsequently released from Adiala Jail on April 10, 2015, after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act. 

(Feature image source: PTI)