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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 12:48 UK

Mumbai suspect denies all charges

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

The leading suspect in last November's deadly attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab told the court in India's financial capital: "It's all wrong. I'm not guilty."

The court has now fixed 86 charges that Mr Qasab will face and they include waging war against India, murder and possessing explosives.

More than 170 people died in the attacks, including nine gunmen.

Mr Qasab is the sole surviving suspected attacker.

Two Indians, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, are also on trial accused of being members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and of scouting for the attacks.

They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit the same offences as Mr Qasab.

Laughter

The BBC's Prachi Pinglay, in court in Mumbai, said Mr Qasab was dressed in a striped shirt and appeared relaxed, at times smiling.

MAIN QASAB CHARGES
Waging war on India
Murder
Conspiracy to murder
Destabilising the government
Kidnap
Robbery
Smuggling and possessing illegal arms and explosives

He confirmed his name and said he was a labourer from Faridkot in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The presiding judge, ML Tahiliyani, read out the charges at the special prison court.

Mr Qasab said that he understood the charges against him.

At one point Mr Qasab was asked to confirm his age as 21.

His defence had previously tried to argue he was under 18 and should be tried as a minor.

Mr Qasab sparked laughter in the courtroom when he said if the prosecutor had believed his earlier answer he would not now be in this court.

An Indian soldier surveys the Taj Mahal Palace Tower Hotel in Mumbai, during the attack in November
The Mumbai attacks seriously strained relations with Pakistan

If convicted, Mr Qasab could face the death penalty.

In an earlier hearing Mr Qasab retracted a confession, saying it was coerced.

It will be up to the judge to weight the evidence at the trial and decide whether the confession should be taken into account.

The attacks took place from 26-28 November.

India has accused Pakistan-based fighters from Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the attacks.

Pakistan has admitted they were partly planned on its soil and the two countries have suffered seriously strained relations.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
ABC Online 'I didn't do it' - 38 hrs ago
Asiaone Mumbai attacks accused pleads not guilty - 39 hrs ago
PBS Suspect in Mumbai Attacks Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges - 39 hrs ago
Tajikistan News.net Mumbai suspect denies all charges - 40 hrs ago
Channel NewsAsia Mumbai attacks accused denies all charges - 41 hrs ago



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