Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Indian court to start Mumbai attacks trial today

MUMBAI: An Indian court will today begin the trial of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving gunman from last year’s attacks in Mumbai.

Kasab is charged with waging war against India and committing terrorist acts, Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said in an interview. The defendant could face the death penalty if found guilty, he said.

“I will give an opening address explaining the charges and how I am going to prove the charges,” Nikam said, adding he expects the case to last six months.

Along with two alleged Indian accomplices, Sabauddin Ahmed and Fahim Ansari, Kasab will be tried by Justice M.L. Tahaliyani in a special high-security courtroom set up in a central Mumbai prison. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., the government prosecutor said.

Kasab will be defended by lawyer Anjali Waghmare, a member of the legal aid panel. Waghmare, who considered withdrawing from the case after activists from a local political party attacked her house, has been given the highest level of security typically reserved for top politicians.

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