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Kasab claims RAW custody

Mumbai, Jan. 25: Ajmal Kasab today claimed he was in RAW custody since November 6, 2008, before being handed over to Mumbai police who booked him for the 26/11 attack, as the Pakistani gunman made another bid to allege a frame-up.

The move to drag India’s external intelligence agency into the trial came as the special court trying the case recorded Kasab’s statement on specific evidence adduced by the prosecution.

Judge M.L. Tahilyani completed the process today, posing a total of 1,560 questions to the Lashkar-trained militant since December 18, 2009.

Kasab had earlier said he had arrived from Pakistan by the Samjhauta Express and travelled to Mumbai as a tourist 20 days before the November 26, 2008, assault. He said he was detained by Mumbai police while strolling on Juhu beach and falsely implicated in the 26/11 case as he had facial similarities with a militant killed during the siege.

The 22-year-old today told the court he wanted to examine some witnesses from Pakistan, but refused to name them. “I would like to consult Pakistani authorities on examining defence witnesses if they come here,” he said, adding that the witnesses would be government staff, including passport officials.

The court allowed Kasab and his lawyer time till January 27 to decide upon who to call as witnesses.

The judge, however, rejected Kasab’s plea for trial by an international court. Tahilyani said the plea was premature.

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