A Pakistani anti-terrorism court today adjourned for a month the hearing on the government’s appeal against the bail granted to 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by the trial court after his counsel sought more time for arguments.
On December 18, 2014, the Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court granted bail to Lakhvi, who was allegedly involved in planning, financing and executing the deadly terror attack in November, 2008 in India’s financial hub.
The government in the first week of January had challenged the bail to Lakhvi in the Islamabad High Court.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui subsequently took up the plea and summoned Lakhvi for arguments.
“In today’s hearing Raja Rizwan Abbasi, a counsel for Lakhvi, sought more time from the high court for arguments in the case. The court accepted his request and adjourned the hearing till second week of March,” Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar said after the hearing.
The prosecution informed the court in its petition that the trial court ignored testimony in the case while granting bail to Lakhvi.
Lakhvi has been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) till the second week of March.
The IHC today also dismissed the detention case after the government on February 13 issued a fresh detention order for Lakhvi.
The IHC had suspended Lakhvi’s detention under MPO after the government detained him following his bail by trial court.
However, the government challenged the decision in the Supreme Court which suspended the IHC order and directed it to listen to the government’s point of view before reaching a final decision.
The prosecution provided ‘classified’ information about Lakhvi during in-camera proceedings.
“The IHC dismissed the case as Lakhvi did not challenge his detention under new MPO order issued on Feb 13,” Chaudhry Azhar said who is also a special prosecution of the Federal Investigation Agency.
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 attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
Lakhvi was arrested in December, 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the case.