18 Apr 2009

Mumbai suspect seeks to retract confession

10:00 am on 18 April 2009

A suspected Pakistani gunman on trial in India for last year's Mumbai terror attacks wants to retract his confession, claiming it was extracted by torture.

The allegation by Mohammed Ajmal Kasab's lawyer came as the prosecution opened its case against him, calling the November 2008 carnage in Mumbai a product of Pakistan's strategic terror culture.

Mr Kasab's lawyer says he will fight a string of charges, including those of waging war on India, murdering 166 people, attempted murder and kidnapping.

Police say Mohammed Ajmal Kasab is the sole survivor among 10 gunmen who arrived in Mumbai by sea from Pakistan to carry out the attacks.

He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors will try to prove the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and backed by intelligence agencies there.

Pakistan's government has repeatedly denied any official involvement in the assault.