Mumbai terror attack suspect pleads not guilty

Alleged Mumbai terror attack suspect Mohammed Ajmal Kasab pleaded not guilty May 6 in an Indian court to 86 charges stemming from his participation in the November 2008 attack. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was formally charged at a special court in Mumbai in front of Judge M.L. Tahiliyani, where he denied any involvement in the attacks. Indian authorities have accused Kasab of attacking commuters at the Mumbai central train station during the attack.

The charges against Kasab include “waging war against India,” which is punishable by death, “causing terror,” destabilization of the government, murder, kidnapping, robbery, and the smuggling of illegal weapons and explosives. Two Indian defendants allegedly linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges related to the charges against Kasab.

Last month, Tahiliyani removed a defense lawyer from Kasab’s case, citing a conflict of interest. Kasab first appeared before Tahiliyani via video in March. In February, Pakistan officials conceded that the attacks were partially planned in their country. Pakistan also stated that the perpetrators traveled by ship from southern Pakistan to Mumbai, where they launched the attack from inflatable boats using outboard engines purchased in Karachi, Pakistan. Some scholars suggest that an international tribunal be formed to prosecute persons involved in Mumbai attacks in order to avoid further complications to the already unstable relationship between Pakistan and India. (Jurist, May 6)

See our last posts on the Mumbai case.