Lahore, Apr 19: Pakistan"s Supreme Court has asked the federal government to respond to the petition filed by Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) 'commander' Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by Apr 21. Lakhvi has sought his acquittal from the 2008 Mumbai attacks case.
On Apr 7, Lakhvi filed a petition seeking his acquittal from the case, stating that the prosecution lacks evidence that can prove his link to the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, except for the confessional statement of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist in the attack.
In his petition, Lakhvi asked the Supreme Court to stop an anti-terrorism court and the prosecution from using Kasab"s confessional statement as evidence against him in the case.
The Rawalpindi bench of the Apex Court will be hearing the petition on Apr 21.
Lakhvi's counsel Khwaja Sultan argued that there has been no allegation against Lakhvi's 'connection or interaction' with any of the six co-accused and others persons allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks by the prosecutions.
"The investigation of the case is based on the alleged confession of Kasab, who is in Indian custody. Neither has any witness supported Kasab"s statement nor has Lakhvi been accused of providing training to the terrorists involved in the attacks," Sultan said in a news agency report.
"The prosecution, in their charge sheets, maintained that (Lakhvi) was a commander of the LeT but could not establish his link with the accused in the Mumbai attacks."
"Under article 43 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order (Pakistan"s law of testimony), the confessional statement of an accused can be used against his co-accused only if they are being tried jointly," added.
Arguing against the use of Kasab's statement, Sultan said that there has been never been any mention of Kasab in the charge sheets submitted against Lakhvi.
"Therefore, the statement of Kasab cannot be used against Lakhvi," Sultan said.
Meanwhile, the prosecution has filed a separate petition in the Lahore Court against the dismissal of their earlier appeal to the anti-terrorism court to declare Kasab and Fahim Ansari as 'proclaimed offenders' or fugitives.