FIA files appeal against Lakhvi’s bail

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (C) is seen raising his hands for a prayer in this photo. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investig-ation Agency (FIA) filed an appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday, seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had on Dec 18 granted post-arrest bail to Lakhvi. The same day the federal government ordered his detention under the Maintenance of Public Order. When the IHC suspended on Dec 29 the detention order, Lakhvi was rearrested in an over six-and-a-half-year-old kidnapping case.

Read: ATC approves bail of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in Mumbai attacks case

In the appeal filed by the FIA against the ATC judge’s order of granting bail to Lakhvi, the prosecution said, “The fact remains that such like cases of defunct terrorist organisations are not so easy to be conducted and especially the prosecution in such cases is the most difficult job in our country for the last many years”.

It said, “In the present case, the learned trial judge (of ATC) after the terrorist attack in Islamabad courts (of March 2013) refused to visit Adiala Jail for a long time due to security reasons.

Also read: Mumbai attack 'mastermind' Lakhvi detained under MPO

“Even the prosecutors of this case have been receiving threats through cell phones during the proceedings which were duly conveyed to the concerned authorities. The witnesses are also not secured, and reluctant to depose against the accused persons in the given situation.”

The prosecution claimed that a major part of the evidence had been recorded and the rest would not take more than three months to record and therefore the observation of the ATC’s judge that the trial may take years to conclude was not correct.

Also read: Appeal delayed against bail order for Mumbai attack 'mastermind' Lakhvi

According to the appeal, the trial has not been delayed because of the prosecution but multiple applications filed by the defence counsel hampered progress of the case. The prosecution had moved several applications for an expeditious trial but the court did not `properly examine’ these facts, it said.

The appeal pointed out that the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested by Indian authorities after Mumbai attacks, was still part of the evidence and it was at no stage discarded and that statement clearly established Lakhvi’s link to Mumbai attacks.

Also read: Govt wants SC to urgently take up its appeal in Lakhvi case

The prosecution claimed that it had sufficient evidence against Lakhvi and requested the court to cancel his bail.

The complainant, Mohammad Khalid Qureshi, additional director general of the FIA, has cited Lakhvi as respondent.

A division bench of the IHC would hear the appeal next week.

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