Mumbai terror suspect's confession sealed
An Indian court deferred a decision on Tuesday whether to accept a surprise confession by the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks last November that left 166 people dead.
Judge M.L. Tahiliyani adjourned the hearing until Wednesday and also sealed Mohammed Ajmal Kasab's unexpected confession from the day before.
On Monday, Kasab said four men — some of them known leaders of the Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba — sent him and nine other attackers to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan.
Armed with automatic rifles and grenades, they arrived by boat Nov. 26 in Mumbai, where they allegedly split into pairs and killed people at the railway station, a Jewish centre, a hospital and two five-star hotels.
Kasab described how he sprayed automatic gunfire at commuters at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station while a comrade hurled grenades.
His orders were to "to open fire at CST and hold people hostage on the upper floor," Kasab said. "We were also directed to fire at the person who came to free hostages."
Kasab spoke about the political and religious indoctrination he received from recruiters in Pakistan, but Tahiliyani issued an order banning journalists from reporting his comments, saying it was not in the interest of communal harmony.
If convicted on the charges of murder and waging war against India, Kasab faces the death penalty. He had originally pleaded not guilty to all 86 criminal counts against him.
Kasab said his confession was voluntary, which gave credence to India's charges that terrorist groups in Pakistan were behind the attack, and Islamabad was not doing enough to clamp down on them.
Kasab said Monday he confessed after months of denials because the Pakistani government finally acknowledged he was a citizen of that country. This put a dent in the defence case, which had contended he was not from Pakistan.
With files from The Associated Press