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Mumbai Terror Trial Delayed After Gunman's Lawyer Dismissed


An Indian court has delayed the trial of the only surviving gunman in last year's Mumbai terrorist attacks, after dismissing the defendant's lawyer.

The judge, M.L. Tahaliyani, ruled Wednesday that the lawyer, Anjali Waghmare, could not represent Mohammed Ajmal Kasab because she is also counsel for a witness to the Mumbai attacks, causing an apparent conflict of interest.

The judge said Waghmare had failed to disclose she was representing the witness, who was injured in the attacks. He said another lawyer will be appointed to represent Kasab.

Kasab, a Pakistani national, then asked the judge to provide him with a Pakistani lawyer.

Kasab is one of 10 gunmen accused of involvement in the attacks on luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish community center. The attacks left about 170 people dead.

He faces charges including murder and "waging war" against India, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Kasab made his first public appearance in a brief court session Wednesday in a special bomb-proof courtroom at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. Police barricaded the surrounding neighborhood as a security precaution.

Two Indian men, Sabauddin Ahmed and Fahim Ansari, accused of providing support to the militants are also being tried.

India has blamed the Mumbai attacks on Lashkhar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based Islamist militant group. The Pakistani government has admitted the attacks were partially planned in Pakistan.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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