India court removes defense lawyer for Mumbai terror attack suspect

[JURIST] A judge in India on Monday removed the defense lawyer for Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [NDTV profile], the lone surviving suspect of last year's Mumbai terror attacks [JURIST news archive]. Specially appointed judge M.L. Tahiliyani removed [PTI report] defense lawyer Abbas Kazmi [Times of India profile] after finding that Kazmi lied when he denied [IANS report] being informed of the Special Public Prosecutor's intent to examine 340 more witnesses of the attack. Kazmi, who will be replaced by his assistant, is not the first defense lawyer to be removed from the high profile case. Advocate Anjali Waghmare was removed [JURIST report] in April for ethical violations after agreeing to represent both the accused and a victim of the attack.

While Kasab faces 86 charges [Reuters backgrounder] in India, including waging war on India and murder, the Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan has indicted [JURIST report] seven men accused of planning the attacks. The suspects have been charged under Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act [text]. The men, who allegedly belong to outlawed terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], have pleaded not guilty. Pakistan has postponed the trial [JURIST report] of five others allegedly connected with the 2008 attack. In August, India sentenced three terrorists to death for their part in similar attacks in 2003 [JURIST report]. Mumbai has suffered a number of terrorist attacks allegedly linked to the LeT in recent years, leading the government to consider controversial terrorism laws and to institute special courts [JURIST reports] to try suspects.



 

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