Witness turns hostile in 26/11 case, claims Ajmal Kasab is alive

Witness turns hostile in 26/11 case, claims Ajmal Kasab is alive

By OUR CORRESPONDENT | NEW DELHI | 10 December, 2015

A key Pakistani witness in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the headmaster of the school where Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman who was caught alive and later hanged, studied, turned hostile and said that Kasab was alive. “Mudassir Lakhvi, the headmaster of a primary school in Faridkot, where Ajmal Kasab studied for three years, told the court that he taught Kasab and he is alive,” a court official told media persons in Islamabad.

Court officials said that the hearing of the case was held by the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad judge at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, the same day when Pakistan assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

“The headmaster claimed that Ajmal Kasab is alive. He was supposed to present the record of the period during which Kasab studied in his school and other relevant record, but he talked otherwise. The prosecution also failed to properly examine him,” the official said.

In May 2014, the headmaster had told the court that Kasab was still alive after which the prosecution had moved an application to examine him again on the ground that the witness turned “hostile”. He was summoned on Wednesday, but he stuck to his last statement. He also claimed that Kasab could be produced in court if needed. According to officials, the headmaster belongs to the native town of another 26/11 accused, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, and there was a strong possibility that he testified under his (Lakhvi’s) pressure. The next hearing in the case would be held on 16 December. Kasab was hanged in November 2012 in a Pune jail.

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