An Indian court on Jan. 25 rejected a request by suspected Mumbai terror attack gunman Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab to be tried in an international court. Kasab claimed he would not receive a fair trial in India and that police had falsely accused him of taking part in the 2008 terror attacks. Special Court Judge ML Tahaliyani denied Kasab’s request, calling it “premature.” Kasab also requested that he be allowed to examine defense witnesses, including passport officers and government staff, from Pakistan and that he be allowed to meet with Pakistani officials. Tahaliyani told Kasab he should file a petition through his lawyer. Kasab faces 86 charges, including murder, for his role in the attacks and, may face the death penalty. A verdict is expected sometime early this year.
Last month, Kasab withdrew his confession, claiming he was tortured and framed by police. Kasab originally pleaded not guilty last year, but interrupted his trial to confess and change his plea to guilty in July. Tahaliyani continued the trial despite Kasab’s confession, ruling that it was incomplete but should be entered into the record. Kasab claimed that he is not the man seen in a photograph holding an assault rifle in the train station. Kasab testified that he had been arrested by police days before the attacks for being Pakistani and that police shot him to make it look like he had been injured during the attacks. He also claimed to have met David Headley, the Chicago man charged in connection with the attacks, but only after the attacks, when Headley allegedly came to question Kasab in the company of three FBI agents. (Jurist, Jan. 25)
See our last post on the Mumbai attacks