26/11 case: Pak court summons Lakhvi to appear in next hearing

Islamabad, Jan 6: LeT operations commander Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, was on Tuesday summoned by a Pakistani court to appear before it in the next hearing on the government's appeal against his bail in the 26/11 case.

A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court headed by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui on Tuesday admitted the government's plea against the Anti-Terrorism Court's decision to grant bail to Lakhvi.

26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

"The court summoned Lakhvi for arguments in the case on next hearing and issued a notice to him in this regard," Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI after the hearing. Azhar, a special prosecutor of Federal Investigation Agency, said the court office would fix the next date of hearing.

The prosecution informed the court in its petition that an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) ignored testimony in the 26/11 case while granting bail to Lakhvi. On December 18, 2014, the ATC granted bail to Lakhvi, who was involved in planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

Next day, he was again detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). However, Islamabad High Court judge Noorul Haq Qureshi suspended Lakhvi's detention under MPO, evoking a strong reaction from India.

Just before he was to be released, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping Afghan national Muhammad Anwar Khan. The police kept him at the Shalimar Police station here for a two-day physical remand before a magistrate sent him back to Adiala Jail yesterday for a 14-day judicial custody.

Lakhvi has been detained at Adiala Prison for the last five years or so. He will be produced before the magistrate on January 15. Lakhvi and six others - Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

The government has already challenged the IHC's order to suspend Lakhvi detention in the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, Lakhvi has also challenged his detention in the abduction case in the IHC. Lakhvi was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the case. The trial has been underway since 2009.


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