Pak panel ends recording of statements of 26/11 witnesses

The eight-member Judicial Commission from Pakistan, here to record statements of four key witnesses in the 26/11 terror attacks case, on Saturday concluded proceedings before a local court by taking down versions of investigating officer and two doctors who had done autopsies of the victims.

The statements of these three witnesses were recorded on Saturday while that of a Magistrate — who had earlier recorded the confession of the lone surviving Pakistani perpetrator Mohammed Ajmal Kasab — was taken on Friday.

The proceedings were held in-camera before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S S Shinde who will now make a comprehensive report and send it along with the statements of the witnesses to the anti-terror court in Pakistan which is hearing the 26/11 case separately registered in that country.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who headed prosecution in the 26/11 trial in a Mumbai court, was present.

The recording of evidence of Indian witnesses assumes significance as it is for the first time that the two countries have agreed on taking legal assistance from each other in a terror case, Nikam said.

Senior inspector Ramesh Mahale, who had investigated the terror attacks case here, told the Commission on Saturday that the role of Pakistan had surfaced during the investigations.

He also pointed out that oral, technical and material evidence linked the case to Pakistan, according to sources close to the proceedings.

They said Mahale told the Commission how Kasab, awarded death sentence in the case, was overpowered by police at Girgaum Chowpatty during the attacks. Mahale also spoke of incidents in which Kasab had shot at civilians and policemen, killing some and injuring many.

He told the Commission that Kasab had confessed his role in the terror attacks voluntarily before a Magistrate.

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