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India court hands down first sentences in 1993 Mumbai bombing case

[JURIST] A court in India [JURIST news archive] sentenced five people to three years in prison and a fine of $610 each Friday for their role in the deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings [BBC backgrounder] that killed 257 people and injured more than 700 in India's financial center. The five defendants had each been found to be guilty of transporting weapons and ammunition on fishing vessels and Judge Pramod Kode said that the defendants were spared from the maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison because they were unaware of the contents of the containers they smuggled. Other defendants, convicted of charges ranging from covering conspiracy, illegal possession of arms and explosives, aiding terrorist acts, and waging war against the state, face maximum sentences ranging from five years to life in prison for their role in the bombings.

The trial, which began in 1995, included testimony from 757 witnesses and has resulted in the conviction of over 100 defendants [JURIST report], a figure that public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam described as unprecedented. Thirty-five suspects, including the alleged mastermind of the bombings, Dawood Ibrahim [BBC profile], remain at large. AP has more.

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