Mumbai gunman must wait to learn fate

The only surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai massacre will learn on Thursday if he is to executed for his crimes.

The only surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai massacre will learn on Thursday if he is to executed for his crimes.

Judge M.L. Tahiliyani held a sentencing hearing for Mohammed Ajmal Kasab today, the day after convicting the 22-year-old Pakistani of murder and waging war against India for his role in the attacks that left 166 people dead.

Ujjwal Nikam, the public prosecutor, asked for the death penalty - which is rarely handed down in India. He described the Mumbai attacks "as the rarest of rare".

Defence lawyer K.P. Pawar asked for the lesser punishment of life in prison, saying Kasab acted under pressure from terrorist organisations and he was young with scope for reform and rehabilitation.

The judge said he would announce Kasab's punishment on Thursday.

Kasab can appeal both the verdict and the sentence, although it was not clear what his legal strategy would be.

India blames a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, for masterminding the attack. In his verdict, the judge said Kasab was a member of the group and his handlers were in Pakistan.

Death sentences are carried out by hanging in India.

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