Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court today listed the application filed by chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali for hearing on November 10 and asked the accused to respond by that date.
In the application, Ali said there had been an inordinate delay in the case and this was not giving a good impression of Pakistan to the world.
“Day-to-day hearings should be held for an early decision in the case,” Ali told the judge during proceedings held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail for security reasons.
“The anti-terrorism courts were established for speedy trial of the accused. Under Section 19(7) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, the speedy trial of the accused is mandatory,” Ali told PTI.
Ali accused the defence lawyers of resorting to delaying tactics for the past four years and said the court should look into this.
“If the accused are proved innocent, they should not remain in prison for a long time. But the prosecution wonders why the counsel of the accused are not pressing for a speedy trial if their clients are innocent,” he said.
There were no other proceedings today as defence lawyers did not attend the hearing due to a protest by the lawyers' community to mark the fifth anniversary of the imposition of emergency by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
Some intelligence operatives came to Adiala Jail to record their statements but were unable to do so due to the absence of the defence lawyers, sources told PTI.
The seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Lakhvi, have been charged with planning, financing and guiding the attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people in November 2008.
The trial has stalled for over a year due to various technical reasons.
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