|Published:||May 03, 2010 10:52 AM EDT|
|Updated:||May 03, 2010 10:52 AM EDT|
MUMBAI, India - An Indian court Monday convicted a Pakistani man of murder and other charges for his role in gunning down dozens of people in the 2008 terror attacks that left 166 people dead in India's financial capital of Mumbai.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the attack's 10 gunmen, was accused in the siege's deadliest episode, when he and an accomplice killed 58 people and wounded 104 others at one of Mumbai's busiest train stations.
Photos of Kasab striding through the station, an assault rifle in his hand, became iconic images of the attacks. Judge M.L. Tahiliyani also acquitted two Indians who had been accused of helping plot the attacks.
Kasab sat impassively with his head bowed down as the verdicts were read. Sentencing in the trial has been set for Tuesday. Kasab, who was convicted of a range of charges, which also included waging war against India, faces a possible death sentence. India blames a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, for masterminding the attack.
In his verdict, the judge said Kasab was a member of the group. The evidence against Kasab included footage from closed circuit cameras in and around the train station and the testimony of more than 600 witnesses.
The trial was conducted in four languages in a special court in Mumbai's high security Arthur Road Jail, where Kasab has been held since his arrest. He was arrested on the first night of the siege. On Monday, security at the prison and the surrounding areas was exceptionally tight, with armed police and paramilitary troops on alert.
Despite its complexity, the trial has lasted only about a year - unusual speed for India's notoriously slow judicial system. One of the memorable moments in the trial came in July, when Kasab made a surprise confession, admitting to committing the killings.
He later retracted that statement, saying he had been tortured. The attacks and subsequent investigation have added pressure to India and Pakistan's already tense relations.