Pakistan court reserves judgement on Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi's plea

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| Friday, March 20, 2015 - 17:31
First Published |

Lahore: A Pakistani court today reserved its judgement on the plea of LeT operations commander and 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi against his detention under a security act.

"Lahore High Court judge Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa heard the arguments of Lakhvi's counsel advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi and a law officer and reserved its decision," a court official told PTI after the hearing.

He said the verdict is likely to be announced anytime.

Lakhvi yesterday challenged his detention in the LHC and prayed to it to set aside the Punjab home department's order for being "illegal and a violation of Islamabad High Court order".

The Punjab government on March 14 detained Lakhvi for another 30 days under the Maintenance of Public Order before his release from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi on the IHC order.

IHC Judge Noorul Haq Qureshi on March 13 suspended the federal government's order to detain 55-year-old Lakhvi and ordered his immediate release.

"Since the government could not produce any solid evidence against the detention of Lakhvi under Maintenance of Public Order, there has been no legal ground to detain him any more under that law. Lakhvi should be released immediately if he is not required in any other criminal case," the IHC court order had said.

India had strongly reacted to the IHC's ruling, saying the overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi has not been presented properly before court by Pakistani agencies.

On December 18, 2014, the trial court (Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad) granted bail to Lakhvi but he was detained next day under the MPO. However, the IHC suspended Lakhvi's detention on "weak legal ground".

Just before he was to be released from Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping an Afghan national in 2009.

Later, the government challenged the HC's order in the Supreme Court which suspended the government's order to end his detention. The SC suspended the HC's order.

Today the HC again suspended the government's order which was issued on February 13 to detain Lakhvi.

Lakhvi and six others Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

Lakhvi, believed to be a close relative of LeT founder and Jamat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the 26/11 attack case.

The trial has been underway since 2009.

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