Main Mumbai suspect pleads guilty

Monday, July 20, 2009


The leading suspect in last November's deadly attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has pleaded guilty.
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab is reported to have stood up before the court and admitted his role in the killings.
Mr Qasab is charged on 86 counts, including waging war against India, murder and possessing explosives.
It is not clear why he has changed his plea. In May, he pleaded not guilty to all charges. More than 170 people died in the attacks, nine of them gunmen.
Prosecutors say Mr Qasab is the sole surviving attacker.
"Yes, he has pleaded guilty in court today [Monday] for the November attacks during a hearing," Reuters news agency quoted Rakesh Maria, a senior police officer, as saying.
MAIN QASAB CHARGES
Waging war on India
Murder
Conspiracy to murder
Destabilising the government
Kidnap
Robbery
Smuggling and possessing illegal arms and explosives
Mumbai accused relaxed in court
Mumbai: Retracted confession
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said: "We were not expecting this. We were all shocked when he made a plea of guilt.
"It is for the court to decide whether to accept his plea or not. It was all of a sudden. The court is now recording his plea."
According to reports, Mr Qasab stood up during his trial in court and addressed the judge.
"Sir, I plead guilty to my crime," he said.
Mr Qasab's lawyer said he had nothing to do with the confession.
It is not clear what prompted the apparent admission of guilt.
Police Mr Qasab confessed before a magistrate to the attacks after his arrest, but he retracted that confession at an early hearing. His lawyers said it had been coerced.

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