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Pakistan high court overturns release of terrorist suspect

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Wednesday overturned the release of terrorist suspect Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Lakhvi, head of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], was the alleged organizer of the 2008 Mumbai attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that killed 165 individuals. Lakhvi was detained in Pakistani custody since 2008 for heading the militant group before before being granted bail [Business Insider report] in early December. Upon being granted bail, the government immediately imposed a three-month detention order to keep him in prison. However, Lakhvi appealed this order and was released in late December. Hours after his release, Lakhvi was in police custody [JURIST report] again for an alleged kidnapping. The Supreme Court concluded [IANS report] that the initial release was rushed and sent the case back to the Islamabad High Court [official website]. The next hearing is scheduled for January 12.

Mumbai has suffered a number of terrorist attacks allegedly linked to the LeT in recent years, leading the government to consider controversial terrorism laws and to institute special courts [JURIST reports] to try suspects. Cross-examination [JURIST report] of the Pakistani-based businessman responsible for selling the boat engine used by the LeT in the attacks began in November 2013. The year prior, India executed the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Mohammad Ajmal Kasab [WSJ backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In August 2009 India sentenced three terrorists to death for their part in similar attacks in 2003 [JURIST report].

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