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Mumbai terror attack defense lawyer alleges client was tortured

[JURIST] The lawyer for the accused gunman on trial in India for the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] moved Friday to suppress his client's confession, arguing it was the product of torture. The lawyer also argued that the trial of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab [NDTV backgrounder] should be moved to juvenile court because Kasab was 17 at the time of his arrest. Judge M.L. Tahiliyani rejected [Times of India report] the petition for removal to juvenile court because Kasab asserted at the time of his arrest that he was 21 and because he does not appear to be 17. The court will announce its ruling [Reuters report] on the admissibility of the confession on Saturday.

Kasab's first defense lawyer was removed [JURIST report] earlier this week as she was also reportedly representing a victim of the attacks in a civil suit. Kasab first appeared [JURIST report] before Tahiliyani in March via video. In February, Pakistan officials conceded [JURIST report] that the attacks were partially planned in their country and that the perpetrators traveled by ship [NYT report] from southern Pakistan to Mumbai. An international tribunal to prosecute persons involved has been proposed [JURIST op-ed] in order to avoid further complications between Pakistan and India. The attacks in Mumbai, which claimed at least 170 lives, were carried out at ten locations across the city including the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel.

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