A former Pakistani magistrate today testified in an anti-terrorism court hearing the 2008 Mumbai attack case that he had recorded the statement of an ‘important witness’ who said some of the seven accused had undergone training in a terror camp in Sindh province.
Ahmad Mahmud Janjwa, former magistrate Islamabad, told the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in the high-security Adiala Jail that the witness testified that some of the seven accused of carrying out the Mumbai attack had acquired training in the camp of Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi (LeJ) in Mirpurkhas in the southeastern Sindh region.
The accused include mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is currently out on bail and living at an undisclosed location.
“The magistrate verified the statement of the witness before the judge. The court was informed that the witness could not appear before the court to record his statement against the accused because of security concerns,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.
The official quoted the magistrate in describing the witness as “important” in the case.
The court adjourned the hearing for September 22 and summoned four more witnesses.
In 2012, the Federal Investigation Agency had provided details of 350 articles, including life jackets and a pink foam, found in four training camps of the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Karachi, Mirpurkhas and two other places in Sindh to the trial court.
The pink foam is a crucial piece of evidence in investigations of the Mumbai attack.
Indian investigators found samples of the pink foam at three sites where attackers planted bombs in Mumbai in November, 2008.
Samples of the pink foam were also found in the boat MV Kuber – that was used by the attackers to travel to Mumbai – in a bag found at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and in a rucksack used by Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker who was later hanged in an Indian jail.
Former Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik had earlier said the pink foam would be examined, but so far no reports have been submitted in the trial court about what, if any, their role was in the attack.
Lakhvi and six other accused are facing the trial for allegedly planning and executing the Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people killed.
Lakhvi, 55, secured bail last December and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act.