Friday, April 17, 2009
The suspected Pakistani gunman on trial in India for last year’s Mumbai attacks will plead not guilty and has accused police of extracting a confession through torture, his lawyer said Friday.
The development came as the prosecution opened its case against Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, calling the November 2008 carnage in the city a product of “institutionalised terrorism” in Pakistan.
Kasab faces a string of charges, including “waging war” on India, murdering 166 people, attempted murder and kidnapping. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
“On his instruction, a retraction application has been filed, retracting the so-called alleged confession,” defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi told reporters outside court.
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But Kazmi said the accused says the confession, made to a local magistrate while he was in police custody, was “extracted out of coercion and force and it was not a voluntary confession.
“He has also said he was physically tortured during the custody and his signatures were obtained by force and coercion,” he added.
Asked how Kasab would plead, he added: “He is going to plead not guilty. He wants to go ahead with the trial.”
This article was posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 at 10:52 am