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India: Gunman in Mumbai Attacks Allowed to Appeal

(Oct. 1, 2010) On September 28, 2010, the Bombay High Court agreed to allow the appeal of Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman to survive the November 2008 three-day siege of Mumbai (Bombay). The attack, said to have been coordinated by the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, resulted in the deaths of 166 people. Kasab filed the appeal in June 2010, after being convicted in May 2010 of crimes related to his role in the siege and sentenced to the death penalty. (Sarah Miley, India Court Allows Appeal by Convicted Mumbai Gunman, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Sept. 29, 2010),
; Mohammad Ajmal MohammadAmir Kasab @ Abu Mujahid.v. The State of Maharashtra, Stamp. No. APEALST/725/2010, Bombay High Court website (Sept. 28, 2010),

Judge M.L. Tahiliyani, who was appointed in January 2009 as the presiding judge of a special court to handle the trial of Kasab and two other suspects (alleged Indian accomplices who were subsequently acquitted), denied, in January 2010, Kasab's request that the case be tried in an international court. Although Kasab had originally pleaded not guilty, then interrupted the trial in July 2009 to confess and plead guilty on 86 charges, Judge Tahiliyani continued the trial, ruling that the confession was incomplete but should be entered in the court record. Kasab withdrew his confession in December 2009 and claimed that he had been tortured and framed by the police. On May 3, 2010, the special court convicted Kasab of murder and waging war against India for his role in the attacks. (Miley, supra.; Hillary Stemple, Convicted Mumbai Gunman Appeals Death Sentence, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (June 4, 2010),
; Jaclyn Belczyk, India Court Convicts Mumbai Terror Suspect of Murder, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (May 3, 2010),