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India court upholds Mumbai attacker death penalty

  • India's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    Judges also dismissed his claim that he had been denied a fair trial.

    "In view of the nature of the gravity of his crime and the fact that he participated in waging war against the country, we have no option but to uphold his death penalty," Supreme Court Justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad ruled.

    Qasab, 24, was convicted of murder and other crimes in May 2010. The Mumbai High Court rejected his first appeal in February 2011.

    However, legal experts say it could be months or even years before Qasab's sentence is carried out.

    He holds the right to appeal to the same two judges to review his case. If that fails, he can appeal to other Supreme Court judges or plead for clemency to the president.

    The 60-hour assault on Mumbai began on November 26, 2008, targeting luxury hotels, the city’s main railway station and a Jewish cultural center.

    The attacks claimed the lives of 166 people, as well as nine gunmen.

    Qasab and an accomplice carried out the attack on the station.

    India blamed Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.

    Pakistan acknowledged that the assault had been partially planned on its soil and that Qasab was a Pakistani citizen after previously denying the claim.