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India high court stays execution of Mumbai gunman

The Supreme Court of India [official website] on Monday stayed [text] the execution of a Pakistani national convicted for his participation in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The stay was issued after Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [NDTV profile] filed an appeal challenging the death sentence [JURIST reports]. Kasab was convicted [JURIST report] in May 2010 of waging war against India, multiple murders and conspiracy for his participation in the Mumbai attacks during which gunmen targeted hotels, Mumbai's main railway station and a Jewish cultural center. The attacks resulted in 166 deaths, including nine other gunmen. Kasab carried out the attack on the train station which killed 52 people. Two alleged Indian accomplices tried with Kasab were acquitted on all charges of helping to plan the attacks. Kasab is the only surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks.

In February, an Indian appeals court upheld Kasab's conviction and death sentence [JURIST report]. In January 2010, a judge denied [JURIST report] Kasab's request for an international trial after Kasab claimed that he would not receive a fair trial in India. In March, US citizen and Chicago resident David Headley pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to 12 counts of federal terrorism stemming from the Mumbai terror attacks and a terror incident in Copenhagen. A federal jury acquitted Tahawwur Hussain Rana [JURIST report], a Chicago resident with Canadian citizenship, of participating in the Mumbai terror attacks in June, but convicted him on two counts of planning to attack a Copenhagen newspaper after Headley testified at his trial. In December, Spanish authorities arrested seven men [JURIST report], including six Pakistanis and one Nigerian, in Barcelona suspected of aiding in the Mumbai terror attacks by allegedly stealing passports and other identification documents belonging to male tourists between the ages of 20 and 30, then sending the documents to Thailand where they would be forged and then forwarded to terrorist groups.

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