MUMBAI — A court began hearing an appeal Monday of the death sentence handed to the only surviving gunman of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.
A trial court convicted Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 22, of murder, waging war against India, conspiracy and terrorism on May 3 and sentenced the Pakistani national to death.
Judges Ranjana Desai and R. V. More of Mumbai High Court heard arguments Monday by prosecutors seeking to uphold the death sentence. The defence will present its case once the prosecution rests.
A photograph of Kasab, 22, striding through Mumbai’s main train station, an assault rifle in hand, became the iconic image of the three-day siege in November 2008 that killed 166 people.
Kasab was one of 10 young Pakistanis who attacked two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a busy train station in India’s financial capital. He was the only assailant caught alive by Mumbai police.
“Kasab and his other colleagues were directly involved in the Mumbai attacks which caused the death of 166 people,” government prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the High Court.
Kasab was not present in court due to security reasons, but participated in the proceedings through videoconferencing.
If the high court confirms his death sentence, Kasab can appeal for clemency to the Indian government. Such motions often keep convicts on death row for years, even decades.
By Rajesh Shah for the Canadian Press.