Pakistan adjourns 26/11 hearing

RAWALPINDI: A Pakistani court today again adjourned a hearing for seven suspects accused by India of plotting the deadly Mumbai attacks last year, a lawyer said.

New Delhi has been pressuring Islamabad to speed up the probe of Pakistani militants believed to be behind the Mumbai attacks which killed 166 people.

India and Washington blamed the November attacks on Pakistan’s banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the siege stalled a fragile four-year peace process between the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals.

“The hearing has been adjourned until the 10th of October,” said Shahbaz Rajput, a defence lawyer representing two of the suspects.

Because the proceedings at an anti-terrorism court are going on behind closed doors, Rajput said he could not disclose the reason for the adjournment, or give any details of the case.

The seven accused were present at Saturday’s proceedings, he added.

The last hearing was scheduled for September 26, but was postponed as the judge was on leave.

The anti-terrorism court has been set up in the high-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, a garrison city adjoining the capital, Islamabad.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that the seven men would soon be charged over the 60-hour rampage but called on India to provide more information to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Those in custody include the alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and alleged key LeT operative Zarar Shah.