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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Mumbai attacks suspect is charged

Mumbai gunman, identified as Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab
Qasab is alleged to have opened fire on commuters

Indian police have charged the man identified as the sole surviving gunman from the Mumbai (Bombay) attacks with "waging war" against the country.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab, a Pakistani, was not in court for security reasons. Two Indians did appear and were charged with being accomplices.

The charge sheet relating to November's attacks runs to more than 11,000 pages.

Nine gunmen were shot dead in the attacks on the financial capital. In all, more than 170 people died.

India accused Pakistan-based militants from the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the attacks. Pakistan has admitted they were partly planned on its soil.

'Confident'

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab was arrested on 26 November - Indian law required charges to be laid in court within 90 days of detention.

KEY NAMES AMONG 35 WANTED
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed@Hafiz Saab
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi
Abu Hamza
Abu al-Kama@Amjad
Abu Kaahfa
Mujamiil@Yusuf
Zarar Shah
Abu Bashir

Two Indian nationals - Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed - were present in the Mumbai court along with their lawyers on Wednesday. They are accused of scouting for the attacks.

"Ajmal Qasab, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed have been charged under various acts, including murder, attempt to murder and damaging public property," special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters as he left court.

He said the trial would be held in the maximum-security Arthur Road jail. All three men could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Mr Nikam said 35 others were named as wanted in the charge sheet.

NAMED DEAD GUNMEN
Ismail Khan
Imran Babar
Nasir alias Abu Umar
Nazir Ahmad
Hafiz Arshad
Abdul Rehman Chhota
Fahad Ullah
Javed alias Abu Ali
Shoaib alias Abu Shoheb

Among them are Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, and senior leaders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza.

Mr Nikam said: "The charge sheet contains details of evidence pertaining to how the conspiracy was hatched, how the gunmen entered Mumbai and the training in Pakistan.

"It does not establish any connection to the underworld of Mumbai nor does it mention any Inter-Services Intelligence (Pakistan intelligence agency) or Pakistani army officials."

Mumbai joint police commissioner Rakesh Maria told reporters: "We're very confident of our case... there's a lot of evidence."

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The interior of the Hotel Trident during the Mumbai attacks.

Difficult relations

The charge sheet is the result of painstaking investigations by Mumbai police, says the BBC's Zubair Ahmed in Mumbai.

OTHER MAIN QASAB CHARGES
Firing at CST station
Firing inside and outside Cama Hospital
Hijacking of Skoda vehicle
Murder of MV Kuber boatman
Firing at Girgaum Chowpatty beach

Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened considerably since the November attacks.

As well as accusing Lashkar-e-Taiba of being behind them, India suggested that "state actors" in Pakistan were also involved.

Delhi has submitted a list of suspects to Pakistan and demanded they be handed over. Both Pakistan and Lashkar have denied involvement.

However, Pakistan's investigation this month found that at least nine suspected attackers had sailed from Karachi to Mumbai in three boats in November.

Pakistan says it has indicted eight people, six of whom have already been arrested, and that any trials will take place on its soil.



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