AS-India-Shooting 1stLd-Writethru 03-09 Web
Court rejects gunman’s request
An Indian court rejected a request today by the only gunman charged in last year’s deadly attacks on Mumbai to translate court documents, including the charges against him, into his native language.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab — a Pakistani captured during the attacks and jailed ever since — addressed a court for the first time, joining the proceedings via video link because of concerns he poses too great a security risk to appear in person.
He asked for an Urdu translation of court documents that include details of the charges he faces, his confession and witness testimony.
The court rejected his request, saying he will be given a lawyer who can read English and Marathi, the two languages in which the documents were printed. Marathi is the language spoken in Maharashtra state of which Mumbai is the capital. Kasab can only read Urdu, a language commonly understood in Pakistan.
Kasab, 21, was charged last month with 12 criminal counts, including murder and waging war against India and could face the death penalty if convicted. Nine other attackers were killed during the three-day siege in November, which left 164 people dead and targeted luxury hotels, a Jewish center and other sites across the city.