India’s Supreme Court Adjourns Mumbai Gunman Appeal

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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India's Supreme Court has adjourned an appeal hearing against the death sentence for the lone surviving gunman in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

News reports said Tuesday that the hearing in Ajmal Kasab's appeal was postponed after one of the two Supreme Court judges due to hear the case was unavailable. The court did not set a date for the next hearing.

Last October, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended Kasab's death sentence until it hears a petition challenging his conviction. Justice Aftab Alam said that Kasab must be given full opportunity to defend himself as provided in India's judicial system.

Kasab, one of 10 young heavily-armed Pakistanis who attacked luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India's financial capital in November of 2008, wants to have his death sentence overturned, claiming he was denied a fair trial and counsel.

He initially pleaded not guilty but later confessed, admitting he was one of the gunmen involved in the three-day siege that left 166 people dead.

In 2010, a Mumbai court convicted Kasab of a string of crimes, including murder, waging war against India, and terrorism, and sentenced him to death. The Maharashtra state's High Court confirmed the death penalty in February 2011.

In case he loses his appeal in the Supreme Court, Kasab can as a last resort apply to the Indian government for clemency.