Mumbai Attacks Trail Continues Despite Suspect ConfessionWorld | July 23, 2009, Thursday // 15:35| views
Special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam, said he needed to examine more witnesses to shed light on why foreign nationals, among others, were targeted in the November siege. Photo by BGNES
Despite a confession by the sole surviving suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks and his lawyer's offer to withdraw from the case, an Indian court said Thursday that it will continue with the trial.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, stunned the court Tuesday when he admitted his role in the attacks on India's financial capital, which began on November 26 and continued for four days and three nights, CNN reported.
Prosecutors said Kasab's guilty plea was an attempt to deflect attention from his alleged handlers in Pakistan. Kasab is a Pakistani national.
Special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam, said he needed to examine more witnesses to shed light on why foreign nationals, among others, were targeted in the November siege.
On Thursday, the judge of the special court trying Kasab said it will take up his confession at a later date. For now, prosecutors will proceed with the 2-week-old trial, and continue to hear from the rest 150 witnesses they have lined up.
"He has changed his stance repeatedly. So I have requested the court that he is operating on an ulterior motive and that the trial should continue", Nikam told reporters.
Kasab is one of 10 Pakistani nationals who killed more than 160 people, including many foreigners, as they laid siege on buildings such as the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and Oberoi-Trident hotels, Mumbai's historic Victoria Terminus train station and the Jewish cultural center, Chabad House. The other nine were killed.
Authorities said Kasab was trained by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a militant group that was banned in Pakistan in 2002 after an attack on India's parliament. The group denied responsibility.
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