India’ Supreme Court Stays Mumbai Attacker’s Death Sentence

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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India's Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the death sentence of the lone surviving gunman in the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, pending an appeal hearing.

The court on Monday stayed Mohammad Ajmal Kasab's sentence until it hears a petition challenging his conviction.

Kasab was one of 10 young Pakistanis who attacked luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India's financial capital in November of 2008, killing 166 people.

Last year, a Mumbai court found Kasab guilty of a string of offenses, including murder, waging war against India, and terrorism.

His first appeal was rejected by Maharashtra state's high court in February.

During Monday's Supreme Court hearing, Justice Aftab Alam said that Kasab must be given full opportunity to defend himself as provided in India's judicial system.

The court said Kasab's appeal would be heard promptly, with a hearing set for the end of January.

The justices acknowledged that many people in India believe Kasab's appeal should be rejected outright, but the Supreme Court said the “due process of the law” must be observed.

India has accused the Pakistan-based militant group Laskhar-e-Taiba of carrying out the terrorist attacks.