Islamabad: The trial of seven Pakistani men, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for their involvement in the Mumbai attacks was adjourned on Saturday for three weeks after defence lawyers were unable to attend the hearing due to the cancellation of a flight.

Lawyers representing Lakhvi and the other accused were unable to travel from Lahore to Rawalpindi, where the hearing was held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail, because their flight was cancelled following heavy rain in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi since last night, officials told.

Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court adjourned the proceedings till August 25. Sources said the lengthy adjournment was also due to the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramzan and the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr festival.

At the last hearing on July 28, the court did not record the statements of two Pakistani officials after defence lawyers raised legal objections to their testimony.

The move came in the wake of Judge Rehman's decision to reject the report prepared by a Pakistani judicial commission that visited Mumbai to probe the attacks.

The judge accepted the defence lawyers' arguments that the testimony of the Pakistan officials based on material provided by India had no legal value since the court had rejected the commission's report containing material provided by India.

The seven suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people in November 2008.

Their trial has been hit by countless delays and the judge has been changed five times.


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