5 May 2010

Death penalty urged for Mumbai gunman

11:42 am on 5 May 2010

Prosecutors in India say the sole surviving gunman who attacked the city of Mumbai (Bombay) in 2008 should be hanged.

Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, a Pakistani aged 22, was found guilty on Monday of charges including murder, waging war on India and possessing explosives.

The attacks left 174 people - including nine other gunmen - dead and soured relations between India and Pakistan.

India blames the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation for the attacks.

Chief prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said "it would be a mockery of justice if the death penalty is not imposed,"

He described Qasab as a "killing machine who has no human feeling" and said a life sentence would leave India "a soft target" for extremists.

The BBC reports Qasab is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

His lawyer told the court he should receive a sentence of life imprisonment because he was young and had fallen under the influence of Lashkar-e-Taiba.