India court sentences Mumbai bombers to death for 2003 attacks

India court sentences Mumbai bombers to death for 2003 attacks

[JURIST] A specially-mandated Indian court on Thursday sentenced three convicted terrorists to death [VOI report] for their roles in the 2003 Mumbai bomb attack [BBC backgrounder] that killed 52 people. Late last month, Ashrat Ansari, Hanif Sayed, and Fehmida Sayed were found guilty [JURIST report] of conspiracy, murder, and attempted murder, and their defense lawyers plan to appeal [NYT report] the decision. They have been linked to Pakistan's religiously-motivated terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], and India has pushed for the prosecution of its leaders [Reuters report], but Pakistani officials on Thursday stated that Indian evidence does not further the case against the group.

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 institute special courts [JURIST reports] to try suspects. In July, India announced that it would continue the trial [JURIST report] of a man suspected in a 2008 hotel attack [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that killed more than 100 people, despite his mid-trial confession [JURIST report]. Pakistan has postponed the trial of five others [JURIST report] allegedly connected with the 2008 attack.