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26/11:Pak court told on VoIP connections

Islamabad: An investigator on Saturday informed the court conducting the trial of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks how funds were transferred from Pakistan to the US to acquire Voice over Internet Protocol connections that were used by the terrorists who stormed India's financial hub.

Nawaz Naji, an official of the Federal Investigation Agency, informed the anti-terrorism court of Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman about the transfer of 250 dollars to a New Jersey-based firm to buy VoIP connections that were used for communications between the terrorists in Mumbai and their handlers in Pakistan.

Naji told the court that the accused were allegedly involved in transferring the funds from Pakistan to the US.

Chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali said after the hearing held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi that Naji recorded his testimony and defence lawyers Khwaja Haris Ahmed and Malik Rafique cross examined him for four hours.

Ali said Naji had informed the court about how the accused transferred USD 250 from Pakistan to the US account and how the VoIP connections were used by the Mumbai attackers and their handlers during November 27-28, 2008.

Naji also submitted records of the financial transaction in court, Ali said.

The judge subsequently adjourned the proceedings till September 8, when some more prosecution witnesses are expected to testify, official sources said.

This was the first substantial hearing this year in the case against the seven accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

The suspects have been charged with planning, financing and facilitating the attacks that killed 166 people, including several foreigners.

According to a recent judgement of the Indian Supreme Court that upheld the death sentence given to Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation too confirmed the transfer of funds to New Jersey-based Callphonex, which provided 15 VoIP connections that were used by the attackers linked to the LeT.

The VoIP connections were obtained by a person using the alias Kharak Singh, who claimed he was an Indian but was actually based in Pakistan.

The FBI determined Kharak Singh's location by tracing the email ID he had used to contact Callphonex.

FBI agents testified during Kasab's trial in an Indian court that an initial payment of USD 250 for acquiring the VoIP connections was wired from a MoneyGram agent in Lahore.

Another payment of USD 229 for the VoIP connections was wired from a Western Union agent in Italy by Javaid Iqbal, a Pakistani national.

(Agencies)

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