Terrorism

US wanted Kasab freed: WikiLeaks

26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab has approached the Supreme Court in appeal against his death sentence on a plea which was dismissed by his attorney SG Abbas Kazmi two years ago. Kasab has pleaded in the apex court that he was “brainwashed like a robot” into committing the dastardly act “in the name of god” and, “given my young age”, had a chance to reform. Now a secret American diplomatic cable exposed by WikiLeaks shows that Kazmi had discounted exploring this avenue when the US had mentioned these very arguments to him in the trial court: if he would contact Kasab’s parents in Pakistan to build up the case for mitigating circumstances which may help the convict escape the noose. An official of the US embassyin India had met Kazmi on September 3, 2009, asking him if India would contact Kasab’s parents in Pakistan to know the circumstances under which he was indoctrinated by the Lashkar e-Tayyeba (LeT) and whether he had been brainwashed. But Kazmi had dismissed the possibility of such a move. “The death penalty is authorised in India only in rarest of the rare cases, Kazmi said, where there has been extreme brutality or inhuman treatment. The Indian law allows consideration of mitigating factors, such as whether Kasab had been brainwashed, but Kazmi is not planning on calling witnesses to testify on behalf of Kasab to explain the circumstances that led him to be indoctrinated by the LeT,” the cable stated. The US cable stated that even Kasab’s defence lawyer was certain that the trial court would award him the death sentence. Kazmi complained to the US official that his attempts to provide Kasab with a “robust defence and fair trial” had been hampered from the beginning, the cable stated. “Kazmi is not permitted to confer with his client in private to prepare the defence.

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2011 on page no. 11

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