Wed, Apr 15, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Pakistan arrests new suspect in Mumbai attacks

AFP , ISLAMABAD

Pakistan confirmed on Monday the arrest of another suspected plotter of the Mumbai attacks and sought further details from India to prosecute those involved in the carnage.

India blamed banned Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Nov. 26 to Nov. 29 siege that killed 165 people and derailed a five-year peace process between the nuclear-armed south Asian rivals.

“We have arrested one more suspect, Shahid Jamil Riaz, who facilitated transaction of money and was part of the overall planning,” Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a news conference, refusing to give further details.

Media reports that surfaced in Pakistan last month said Riaz was remanded for interrogation.

Islamabad admitted for the first time in February that the Mumbai attacks had been planned partly in Pakistan and filed a case against eight suspects, saying that six of them were already in custody.

“We have written to the foreign office today to [ask] India for some more information,” Malik told Monday’s news conference, continuing a back and forth that has dragged out between the two countries for months.

India in January sent Pakistan a dossier that it said contained evidence that elements in Pakistan were behind the November attack.

In February, Pakistan fired off another 30 questions, to which India responded last month.

On Monday, the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad was called to the Interior Ministry to be briefed on “missing information and what is our requirement,” Malik said.

Malik said Pakistan asked India to provide a certified copy of the statement given by the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, before a magistrate.

He said Pakistan also requested that India provide a copy of the charge sheet against Kasab, who is also known as Ajmal Iman.

“We also do not have details about the SIM cards used by the attackers, the coordinates for the GPS and information about the Indian nationals arrested for involvement in the attack,” he said.

Malik also questioned DNA samples Indian authorities have provided.

“One sample is of a terrorist named Ismail, who was killed during the operation, which is identical to the sample of Kasab,” Malik said.

“We need this information as urgently as possible for successful prosecution,” he said.

Kasab’s trial is due to start in Mumbai today.

The 21-year-old faces the death penalty if convicted.

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