sexta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2009

Can't read Arabic, admits man who ‘translated' 26/11 note

Mumbai: Source : ExpressIndia: In an embarrassment for the Mumbai Police in the 26/11 terror attack trial, a prosecution witness presented in court today as the translator of a note in Arabic allegedly left by the Lashkar-e-Toiba attackers, which said the attack was a pointer towards war, was found to have no knowledge of the Arabic script.

On Wednesday, Inspector Prakash Bhoite, who had investigated the attack on the Taj Mahal Hotel, had told the court that police had found two unexploded bombs near the hotel during the attack and one of them contained a note which said "Ammar Askari".

On Thursday, Mukhtar Pirzade, the translator, testified in court and confirmed he had translated the note given to him by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. An insurance agent in Bhiwandi, Pirzade is regularly used as a translator by the police.

But his testimony did not stand when he was cross-examined by Abbas Kazmi, the state-appointed lawyer for Ajmal Kasab, the lone attacker captured alive. Kazmi, who has lived in Saudi Arabia for a decade and knows Arabic, spoke a line in the language and asked Pirzade what it meant.

When Pirzade said he could not figure it out, Kazmi translated it himself and said it meant "Where are you now?" Pirzade responded by saying that he did not know to read or write Arabic but could only understand it and that he had got the words in the alleged Lashkar note translated by a friend.

Kazmi also contested the translation and said that Ammar Askari was the first and second name of a person. The incident caused Special Judge M L Tahilyani to pull up the police. "Why do you go looking for translators in Bhiwandi when our Bombay High Court has full-time Urdu translators. You could have done it there," he told the police officers and the prosecutor present in court. Urdu and Arabic use the same script.

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