In India, the trial of the lone suspected gunman
captured in last year's Mumbai terror attacks has begun under heavy security.
But, the defense says his confession about the attacks was forced and he wants
to retract it.
In its opening arguments in a Mumbai special court
Friday, the prosecution accused Mohammed Ajmal Kasab of being part of a
"meticulously planned and ruthlessly executed" plot hatched in Pakistan, and
backed by its intelligence agency.
Kasab is being tried in connection
with last November's terror strikes in Mumbai on multiple targets which killed
Ten gunmen mounted the attacks. Kasab was the only one
captured alive, and he is being tried on 12 criminal counts, including murder
and waging war against India. Two alleged Indian accomplices are also being
tried along with Kasab.
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said Kasab has
confessed that part of the aim of the attackers was to weaken the Indian
government and capture Kashmir, where Islamic terror groups have waged a
separatist insurgency for two decades.
"The terror attack of 26 November
in Mumbai was in order to capture [the] Kashmir, and just to wage war, this was
one of the objectives of the criminal conspiracy that has been disclosed by
accused Ajmal Kasab," he said.
The defense lawyer said Kasab wants to retract
his confession as it was extracted under torture. The judge will pass an order
on the validity of the confession on Saturday after examining witnesses to the
The public prosecutor read extracts from the confession
saying that the attackers in Mumbai wanted to specifically target foreign
"Accused Kasab had disclosed in his judicial confession that
it was decided amongst them to kill American nationals, English nationals,
Israeli nationals, German nationals, as these nations are having very cordial
and good relations with India," he said.
The trial began after the judge
dismissed a plea by the defense that the case should be transferred to a
juvenile court because Kasab is under 18 years. Indian authorities say he is 21
In a country where trials drag on for years, Indian
authorities have said they hope to complete the trial in six months to a year.
The high profile trial is being held in a special bomb proof courtroom. Kasab
faces the death penalty if found guilty.
Pakistan has acknowledged that
Kasab is a Pakistani citizen and that the attacks were partly plotted on its
soil. But Islamabad has strongly denied that any official agency abetted the
attacks, which raised tensions between India and Pakistan.