Mumbai Gunman Retracts 'Coerced' Confession

Kasab gets new lawyer; trail begins after delays
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2009 9:14 AM CDT
Paramilitary soldiers patrol the periphery of the Arthur Road Jail where Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani gunman charged in last year's Mumbai terror attacks, is held.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
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(Newser) – The sole surviving gunman and top suspect in the Mumbai massacre has retracted his confession, which his new lawyer says was coerced, the BBC reports. Now, the judge must decide whether the confession will count in the case, in which Pakistani Mohammed Ajmal Kasab is accused of killing 166 people and waging war on India in November. The trial got moving today, CNN reports, after a number of hiccups, including the barring of Kasab’s original lawyer.

A leading Mumbai criminal lawyer took her place yesterday. Prosecutors called the killings a Pakistan-born conspiracy against India and said Kasab could be “held liable for the murders as one of the co-conspirators,” although he was not present at all the "firing incidents.” Kasab didn’t speak at the trial.