Despite plea, Mumbai gunman’s trial continues

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The trial of the only surviving gunman from last year’s Mumbai attacks will continue, despite his unexpected confession.

Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, a 21-year-old Pakistani citizen, confessed Monday in open court during routine interviewing of witnesses.

The confession had come as a surprise as Kasab in May pleaded not guilty to involvement in the November attacks, which left 166 people dead. Among the victims were Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, as well as four other Jewish victims.

On Thursday, Judge M.L. Tahilyani said he would record the guilty plea but that the trial would continue in order to answer other charges.

"The plea of guilt and statement will remain on record and the trial will proceed," Tahilyani said, Reuters reported. "A plea remains a plea even though it was made in a late stage of the trial. It can’t be erased from the record."

Kasab has been charged with 86 offenses in the three-day attack including murder and waging war against India, according to reports. He faces a possible death sentence.

 

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