Pak court adjourns 26/11 trial; bars media coverage

Judge Baqir Ali Rana of anti-terrorism court no 2, who is conducting the trial in the high-security Adiala Jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, issued the gag order for the media this morning.

Though the order itself was not made public, sources said it stated that the proceedings would be kept totally secret and "not published" in any manner as the case had implications for national security and national interests.

The order said the media blackout was also necessary for the security of witnesses and the judge. Sources also said the next hearing was set for September 1 though there was no official word on this.

The five LeT operatives being tried by the anti-terrorism court are the outfit's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, communications expert Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq and Shahid Jamil Riaz.

A sixth suspect, Jamil Ahmed, who was arrested for allegedly facilitating the Mumbai attacks, was also produced in the anti-terrorism court today. The judge ordered the Federal Investigation Agency to submit his complete records.

Ahmed's petition to be granted bail was put off by the court till September 1, sources said.

At the last hearing of the case on July 25, Judge Rana had ruled that future proceedings would be held in-camera. The trial is being conducted inside the prison for security reasons.

The Federal Investigation Agency, which probed the Mumbai attacks and arrested the six suspects, had argued the proceedings should be conducted in-camera in view of the sensitivity of the matter.

The five LeT operatives have been charged under the Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act and a cyber crimes law.

They have been accused of providing training, financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications gear to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November last year.

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