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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pakistan court begins trial of 5 Mumbai terror attack suspects
Ximena Marinero at 11:19 AM ET

[JURIST] A Pakistan anti-terrorism court Saturday began the trial of five men allegedly belonging to the Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder] militant group suspected of planning and coordinating the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], according to Pakistan media reports [INN report]. The alleged commander of the attacks, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lahkvi [Global Jihad profile], is among the five, and will be indicted with the others when the trial resumes July 25. Based on investigations conducted by the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency [official website], the five men are accused of providing "transport, accommodation, computer network, financial assistance and boats" to those who carried out the Mumbai attacks. One of the men has petitioned the court to give him access to the evidence submitted against him that he believes to be incomplete and false. The court also issued warrants for the arrest of seven more suspects that have been proclaimed as culprits.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [BBC profiles] released a joint statement [text] on Thursday "resolv[ing] to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end," and emphasizing the need to prosecute those responsible for the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan completed [JURIST news report] its probe into the Mumbai attacks last week. In February, Pakistani officials conceded [JURIST report] that the attacks were partially planned in their country. In June, India issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Lahkvi, but Pakistan announced it would not hand over [IANS report] any of its citizens and would try them in Pakistan. The attacks in Mumbai, which claimed at least 170 lives, were carried out at ten locations across the city, including the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel.

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