Mumbai attacker loses death penalty appeal | News | DW | 29.08.2012
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Mumbai attacker loses death penalty appeal

The lone surviving gunman convicted for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks has lost his appeal against the death sentence. Indian Supreme Court judges said they had "no option but to award the death penalty."

The Pakistani-born Mohammad Ajmal Kasab was originally handed the death penalty in May 2010 on charges of waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab is seen at an undisclosed location in this file still image from undated footage shown on CNN IBN Television channel on February 3, 2009.

Kasab's legal options are now all-but exhausted

During the November 2008 attacks that left 166 victims dead, ten gunmen stormed India's commercial capital, targeting luxury hotels, including Mumbai's Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal. They also attacked a religious center, a hospital and Mumbai's bustling train station.

Television footage showed Kasab opening fire while carrying an AK-47 and throwing grenades at the station. The episode within the station alone left nearly 60 people dead.

Kasab, who is being held in a maximum-security prison in Mumbai, had claimed in his appeal documents that he had not received a fair trial.

His final option would be to submit a plea for clemency with India's president Pranab Mukherjee.

In 2008, India blamed the Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), also claiming LeT had received training and funding from "elements" of Pakistan's military. The government in Islamabad flatly denied any involvement.

The militants' three-day rampage in Mumbai resulted in a temporary suspension of peace talks between the nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan.

ipj/msh (Reuters, AFP)