Mumbai attacker's appeal rejected

Indian judges reject appeal from sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks against his death sentence.

    Kasab was captured after he went on a shooting rampage through the centre of Mumbai in 2008 [AFP]

    Two Indian judges have rejected the appeal of the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks against his conviction and death sentence, television reports said.

    Indian media said on Monday that the judges at the Bombay High Court dismissed the appeal by Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab over his role in the attacks that killed 166 people and injured more than 300.

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    The court also threw out the state's appeal against the lower court's decision to acquit two Indian nationals who were accused of providing hand-drawn maps to the 10 gunmen.

    In May last year, Judge ML Tahaliyani said he had no doubts that execution was the right punishment for Kasab.

    "He should be hanged by the neck until he is dead," he said.

    "I don't find any case for a lesser punishment than death in the case of waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts."

    India has blamed the violence on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group and elements in the Pakistani military.

    Tahaliyani rejected arguments by Kasab's defence lawyer that he had committed the crime under duress and pressure from the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    The judge said Kasab joined the group on his own and trained to be a fighter. "Such a person can't be given an opportunity to reform himself," Tahaliyani said.

    KP Pawar, Kasab's defence lawyer, had asked for the minimum punishment of life in prison for his client.

    Kasab can still challenge the verdict in India's highest court, the Supreme Court, and later apply to the Indian government for clemency.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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