26/11 Mumbai terror: Pakistan court refuses to give voice samples of terror suspects


In a setback to justice for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks investigation, the Islamabad High Court dismissed the Indian government’s petition seeking voice clippings of the alleged masterminds and of six other suspects in the case due to non-prosecution. The decision was taken by the court on Januay 27.

The court’s decision is set to fuel suspicion in India about the sincerity of Pakistan in delivering justice for the victims of the 26/11 carnage, and by extension raises questions about Islamabad’s seriousness about prosecuting the perpetrators of the Pathankot airbase attack.

The prosecution had sought permission for voice samples from the suspects to compare it with those communications intercepted by the Indian intelligence agencies. The petition had stated that the samples were essential for concluding the investigation of the case.

On September 12, 2012 the Islamabad HC court had dismissed two other petitions. One petition had asked for the voice samples of the seven suspects in the Mumbai terror attacks case.  Another petition was filed to declare Ajmal Kasab and Faheem Ansari as absconders in the case under trial by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Islamabad.  

A Rawalpindi court handling the Mumbai attacks case had earlier dismissed an application for obtaining voice sample of  Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the prime suspect. The application was rejected on the ground that no such law exists in Pakistan that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused.

Lakhvi had secured bail in December 2014 and was subsequently released from Adiala Jail on April 10. He was released  after the Lahore High Court had set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act. A trial has been underway against the terror suspects at the ATC since 2009.

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