Mumbai terror suspect rearrested
Pakistani police have rearrested the main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, officials said today, quashing expectations that he might soon be freed.
Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi is one of seven suspects being tried by Pakistan in connection with the attacks, which killed 166 people and seriously damaged relations between longtime rivals Pakistan and India.
After a judge granted him bail on December 18 there had been concerns that he would be freed, possibly as early as today. But police arrested him in connection with another case this morning, his lawyer, Rizwan Abbasi, said.
Lakhvi appeared in court in Islamabad amid tight security. He told an Associated Press reporter that he accepted whatever God intended for him.
Police Inspector Mohammed Arshad told the court that someone had filed a complaint at a police station on the outskirts of Islamabad. claiming that Lakhvi had abducted his brother-in-law to wage "jihad" six and a half years ago. The judge granted a police request for time to investigate the accusation, extending Lakhvi's detention for two days.
Lawyer Mr Abbasi questioned why the complaint had only become known when it appeared that Lakhvi would be released on bail. He called it a tactic to "deprive my client of the fundamental right of liberty".
Today's legal manoeuvres stem from the December 18 decision of the judge in an anti-terrorism court to grant him bail, citing a lack of evidence.
That announcement was extremely embarrassing to the government, which had vowed to crack down on militancy following the Peshawar school attack days earlier. It provoked a harsh condemnation from India, which has repeatedly said Pakistan is not doing enough in the case.
In the wake of the bail announcement Pakistani legal authorities tried various mechanisms to keep Lakhvi behind bars, but in a hearing yesterday a judge said that there were no grounds to prolong the detention and that the only thing standing between him and freedom was posting bail.
Pakistani television reported that senior officials met at the Interior Ministry late yesterday t o discuss the case. Lakhvi was rearrested hours later.