ATC summons investigator in Mumbai attacks trial

Anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks Saturday issued summons to a senior investigator even as six prosecution witnesses failed to appear before the judge.

Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, who is conducting the trial behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for security reasons, issued the summons for Altaf Hussain, a Karachi-based Additional Director of the Federal Investigation Agency.

Prosecutors described Hussain as an “important witness” in the case against the seven accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

He was directed to appear in court at the next hearing on April 13.

“FIA Additional Director Altaf Hussain had conducted a thorough investigation into the attacks,” chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali said after the hearing.

Ali said six private witnesses, who were scheduled to appear in court to testify against the accused, could not reach Rawalpindi because of the “law and order situation in Karachi”.

All six witnesses are residents of Karachi. He further said Pakistani authorities were still awaiting a response from India regarding a Pakistani judicial commission’s visit to Mumbai to interview four key witnesses.

“We have received no reply from India so far,” Ali said.