26/11 case: Nikam says he will challenge acquittal of co-accused

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Mumbai, May 3 (ANI):Mumbai's Chief Public Prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam who argued the mammoth 26/11 case for over 271 working days, on Monday gave a mixed reaction to the Special Court's verdict on lone surviving Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab.

On Monday, a Mumbai special court delivered 1,522 page verdict convicting Kasab on all 86 charges, including waging war against India.

However, in an unexpected move, the court found two Indian co-accused-Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed - not guilty and said they must be acquitted of all charges due to lack of evidence.

The court said the evidence against the two was weak both in "quality as well as quantity."

Nikam said he would appeal against the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed.

The charges against Kasab include waging war against India, murder, abetting to murder, attempt to murder, violation of the Arms Act, Explosives Act, the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA) and others.

Nikam said, that while he is satisfied with the larger portion of the judgement, he was not happy with the acquittal of the co-accused.

He claimed that the prosecution has presented enough and credible evidences against these two.

"We have presented a good case and many credible evidences against Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed and Ansari himself admitted to the crime," Nikam said.

We will certainly appeal against the judgement," he added.

He also informed that many maps were recovered from Ansari's possession during investigation and were presented before the court.

Nikam said on the basis of bullets found in Kamte's body it was established that it was fired from Abu Ismail's Ak 47 assault rifle.

But in case of Karkare and Salaskar, it could not be identified, he added.

Nikam said, the court appreciated the work of photojournalists and the railway announcer.

Photographs of Kasab shot by photojournalists Sebastian D'souza and Sriram Vernekar were also placed before the court.

At the CST station on the 26/11 night the announcer saved many lives.

While, arguing the case Nikam submitted 1,015 articles seized during investigations and filed 1,691 documents to support the case.

Judge Tahaliyani recorded 3,192 pages of evidence after examining 658 witnesses on 271 working days.

Thirty witnesses in the court identified Kasab as the man who had opened fire on them.

Nikam had also argued that Pakistan's security apparatus was used by the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

In his verdict Judge Tahiliyani described the 26/11 attacks as clear act of war.

For the first time in Indian judicial history, it was established in a court of law that Pakistan was involved in an act of terrorism and of waging war against India.

Judge Tahiliyani said the way the ten terrorists countered the elite National Security Guards (NSG) it clearly established that they were trained to fight a war.

Though no direct evidences were mentioned against Lashkar-e Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed and Zakir -ur -Rehman, the court found them guilty based on Kasab's confessional statement.

The prosecution also tabled CCTV footage of the terrorists moving about with guns and firing at people.

The images were captured on CCTV cameras fitted at CST Railway Station, the Times of India building, and the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels.(ANI)

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