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Abu Salem does not want a separate trial

Source: PTI
August 02, 2006 17:06 IST
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The Bombay High Court Wednesday deferred till August 8 a petition filed by 1993 serial bomb blast accused Abu Salem challenging a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (prevention) Act court's order to separate his trial from the other accused.

Justices D G Deshpande and S A Bobade adjourned the petition as the public prosecutor sought time to file a reply to Salem's petition.

Salem contended that separating his trial in the bomb blasts case from other accused would violate the agreement between Portugal and Indian governments under which he was extradited last year.

He contended that according to extradition conditions, he was to face the ongoing trial and not a fresh one. Salem is one of the 123 accused in 1993 bomb blasts case.

Earlier, last month, the Central Bureau of Investigation urged the designated TADA judge Pramod Kode to separate the trial of Salem and his associate Riyaz Siddiqi (who was arrested recently) from the other accused, saying otherwise the entire trial would be delayed.

The TADA judge accepted the CBI plea and ordered separation of trial on June 13. In the main trial, Judge Kode will begin to deliver the judgement from August 10.

Salem, in his petition, has also alleged some other violations of the extradition agreement.

One of his contentions is that as per the agreement, he was to be sent back to India for standing trial, not for interrogation and fresh probe.

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