A Pakistani anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi trying seven men charged with involvement in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, which left 166 persons dead and many more injured, today issued summonses to six witnesses who had sold a boat and other equipment to the accused.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, who is conducting the trial in camera at Adiala Jail for security reasons, issued the summons to Hamza Bin Tariq, Muhammad Ali, Mohammad Saifullah, Umer Draz, Saqib Iqbal and Atiq Ahmed, prosecutors said.
''The accused had bought the boat, an engine and related equipment from these witnesses,'' chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali told Indian agency PTI after the hearing.
He said since Indian authorities had not yet responded to Pakistan's request to allow a Pakistani judicial commission to cross-examine and record the statements of four witnesses in Indian custody, the prosecution today requested the judge to proceed with the trial.
''There has already been a considerable delay in the case and the court should continue the trial proceedings,'' Ali told the judge during proceedings.
Prosecutors also requested the court to take up their application to conduct hearings every day. The judge subsequently adjourned the case to 6 April.
The Pakistani judicial commission's visit to India has already been delayed by several weeks as Islamabad is seeking an assurance that members of the panel will be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses held in India, a demand that New Delhi is unwilling to concede.
The commission is due to make a second visit to Mumbai to record the statements of four witnesses held in Mumbai because the anti-terrorism court had rejected a report submitted after its first visit on the ground that the panel was not able to conduct any cross-examination.
The trial of the seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, has progressed at a snail's pace due to repeated adjournments and various technical delays.