Islamabad: The Pakistan government will write to its Indian counterpart to allow the cross-examination of key witnesses in the Mumbai attacks case following a court's rejection of the findings of a judicial commission that
visited India to gather evidence, a prosecutor has said.
Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry, a special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency, said the Pakistan government will write to Indian authorities regarding the cross-examination of the Indian witnesses in order to fulfil legal requirements.
An Indian court has rejected the findings of a Pakistani judicial commission that visited India to gather evidence.
An anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with planning, financing and executing the 2008 Mumbai attacks on Tuesday declared as illegal the findings of the Pakistani judicial commission that visited India in March.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman said another commission could be sent to Mumbai if the governments of India and Pakistan agreed to allow the cross-examination of witnesses. He further said the testimonies of four Indian witnesses could be used by prosecutors against the Pakistani accused only if Indian authorities allowed defence lawyers tocross-examine the witnesses.
Special prosecutor Chaudhry, who produced the judicial commission's 800-page report in the court, told the Dawn newspaper that setting aside the panel's findings would benefit the accused because the prosecution could not use the testimony of the four key witnesses.
Chaudhry contended that if the seven accused were acquitted, Indian judge S S Shinde, who oversaw proceedings of the commission in Mumbai, would be responsible for their acquittal because Shinde "did not follow the law of evidence and relevant sections of the Criminal Procedure Code".
He said Judge Shinde had denied the right of cross-examining the Indian witnesses at the request of prosecutor Ujwal Nikam.