New Delhi/Mumbai, Mar 15: A Pakistani judicial commission today held a close-door meeting with special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in which LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects face charges in a Pakistani court.
Highly placed sources said Nikam, who held a three-hour long meeting with the eight-member Pakistani judicial Commission in Delhi, later met Home Minister P Chidambram, Union Home Secretary R K Singh and apprised them about his discussions.
The Pakistani team flew to Mumbai this afternoon by an Air India flight amid tight security and will record the statements of four witnesses from tomorrow.
When contacted, Nikam refused to divulge details of the meeting but said “the evidence of these witnesses would help Pakistan nail the perpetrators of the 26/11 terror attack”.
The Pakistani Commission will record the statements of the metropolitan magistrate who took the confessional statement of the lone surviving terrorist Mohd Ajmal Amir Kasab, and also of Chief Investigating Officer in the case.
The commission headed by special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali who came from Lahore to Delhi yesterday will also record the evidence of two doctors involved in carrying out the autopsy of the nine killed terrorists in the 2008 attack in which 166 people were killed.
The Pakistani Commission will tomorrow start recording the evidence of Metropolitan Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule.
The statements of Chief Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale will also be recorded by them in addition to the two doctors, Shailesh Mohit and Ganesh Nitukar, who had conducted the autopsy of the slain terrorists.
Nikam reminded the Pakistani prosecuting agency that governments of both countries agreed to record the statements of only four prosecution witnesses, the sources said.
“The evidence of these four witnesses are crucial for Pakistani prosecuting agency so that they can use these statements for successful prosecution of the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack,” sources said.
Besides Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, other members of the panel are prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, Azad Khan, Deputy Director of the Federal Investigation Agency and defence lawyers. The defence lawyers are Khwaja Haris, Riyaz Akram Choudhary, Fakhar Haayat, Raja Ehassan Ulhakhan and Isaam Bin Haris.
Sources said the panel expects to complete its work in four to five days.
The anti-terrorism court in Pakistan is conducting the trial of seven suspects, including Lakhvi, who have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks in Mumbai.
Malik Rafique, one of the defence lawyers, decided not to travel to India with the commission, citing security concerns. The commission can only record the statements of the Indian officials and it cannot conduct any cross-examination, the sources said.
The trial of the seven Pakistani suspects has been stalled due to legal hurdles.
Pakistani prosecutors have said the commission's visit to India is necessary to take forward the trial.
The panel will collect evidence on behalf of the Pakistani court trying Lakhvi and other suspects in the case.
On November 26, 2008, Kasab, and nine other LeT terrorists had landed here by sea and massacred 166 people in a bloody mayhem at city's landmarks including Taj Mahal Hotel, CST Railway Terminus and Oberoi Hotel.