The lawyer for the accused gunman on trial for the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks moved April 17 to suppress his client’s confession, arguing it was the product of torture. The lawyer also argued that the trial of Mohammed Ajmal Qasab should be moved to juvenile court because Qasab was 17 at the time of his arrest. Judge M.L. Tahiliyani rejected the petition for removal to juvenile court because Qasab asserted at the time of his arrest that he was 21 and because he does not appear to be 17. The court will announce its ruling on the admissibility of the confession on Saturday.
Qasab’s first defense lawyer was removed earlier this week as she was also reportedly representing a victim of the attacks in a civil suit. Qasab first appeared before Tahiliyani in March via video. In February, Pakistan officials conceded that the attacks were partially planned in their country and that the perpetrators traveled by ship from southern Pakistan to Mumbai. An international tribunal to prosecute persons involved has been proposed in order to avoid further complications between Pakistan and India. The attacks in Mumbai, which claimed at least 170 lives, were carried out at ten locations across the city including the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel. (Jurist, April 17)