Accused Mumbai Gunman Confesses at Trial, Shocking Own Lawyer
Posted Jul 20, 2009 4:38 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Ajmal Amir Kasab, now in his early 20s, was the sole surviving suspect among 10 gunmen accused of killing some 170 people in India's financial capital during a three-day siege in November. Although he initially asserted his innocence in a trial that began in April, he stunned a Mumbai courtroom today by confessing his guilt in the carnage that focused on hotels housing upscale foreign visitors.
“I don’t think I am innocent,” he told a spellbound courtroom in Hindi and Urdu, at the end of a daylong confession. “My request is that we end the trial and I be sentenced,” reports the New York Times.
It will now be up to the court to decide whether to accept Kasab's new guilty plea, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam tells the BBC.
"We were surprised when he abruptly took the stand and pleaded guilty," the prosecutor tells the Washington Post.
And Kasab's defense lawyer, Abbas Kazmi, was similarly stunned: "It was shocking for everybody, including me," Kazmi told reporters outside court.
Earlier related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: "Stephenson Harwood Associate Dies in India Terrorist Attacks"
ABAJournal.com: "Reed Smith Partner With Relatives in Mumbai Turns to Firm Expert"
ABAJournal.com: "Pakistan Charges 8 in Mumbai Terror Attacks in November"
ABAJournal.com: "Despite Threats, Lawyer Agrees to Represent Mumbai Terrorism Suspect"