Pak appoints new judge to conduct 26/11 trial

Pak appoints new judge to conduct 26/11 trial

Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan of anti-terrorism court replaced Rana on the orders of Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Khwaja Mohammad Sharif.
Rana was conducting in-camera the trial of the seven suspects, who included senior Lashker-e-Taiba operatives Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, in the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

The Chief Justice issued the order following a request from Rana to be taken off the case due to "security issues", sources told PTI.
There were reports that Rana received threats from the LeT because the suspects were indicted in the absence of their lawyers during a hearing on October 10.
Rana was also reportedly unhappy about pressure from the government regarding the case, sources said.

Though a hearing of the Mumbai attacks case was scheduled for today, there were no proceedings due to the changing of the judge. The new judge will begin hearing the case from October 31, sources said

The defence lawyers also boycotted proceedings after accusing Judge Rana of indicting the suspects in their absence. The lawyers have also opposed to the trial being conducted in-camera.

The trial is being conducted in Adiala Jail due to security concerns and the media has been barred from attending the proceedings.

Rana was appointed the judge for the case in July after the previous judge was removed as part of judicial reforms. Before Rana's appointment, proceedings were stalled for over a month as the court was without a judge.