Pakistani gunman convicted in 2008 Mumbai attacks appeals death sentence

By Rajesh Shah, AP
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gunman in Mumbai attacks appeals death sentence

MUMBAI, India — The only surviving gunman from the deadly 2008 attack on India’s financial center of Mumbai has appealed his death sentence, his attorney said Wednesday.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was given multiple death sentences by a trial court, which convicted him of charges including murder, waging war against India, conspiracy and terrorism on May 3.

Mumbai’s High Court will start hearing Kasab’s appeal Oct. 18, said Amin Solkar, Kasab’s attorney. The appeal was filed by Solkar on behalf of Kasab on Tuesday.

A photograph of Kasab, 22, striding through Mumbai’s main train station, an assault rifle in hand, became the iconic image of the three-day siege in November 2008 that claimed the lives of 166 people .

Kasab was one of 10 young Pakistanis who attacked two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India’s financial capital. He was the only assailant caught alive by Mumbai police.

If the high court confirms his death sentence, Kasab can still apply for clemency to the Indian government. Such motions often keep convicts on death row for years, even decades.

India’s last execution — of a man convicted of the rape and murder of a schoolgirl — occurred in 2004.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai court on Wednesday ruled that a guard can stay within hearing range of meetings taking place at prison between Kasab and his attorney.

The court rejected Kasab’s plea that no prison guard should be around during the meetings.

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