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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08ISLAMABAD3943 2008-12-25 04:54:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

MUMBAI ATTACKS: PAKISTANI MOI HESITANT TO MOVE

Tags:   PTER PGOV KJUS PK 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 003943 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/19/2018
TAGS: PTER PGOV KJUS PK

SUBJECT: MUMBAI ATTACKS: PAKISTANI MOI HESITANT TO MOVE
INVESTIGATION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT CHANNELS

Classified By: Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4(B),(D).



1. (C) Summary. MOI State Secretary Kamal Shah expressed concern
about moving the Mumbai bombing investigation into law enforcement
channels. A successful prosecution, especially of the organizers,
would demand significant levels of admissible evidence, which the
Pakistanis do not now feel they have. However, Shah did not exclude
the possibility that information sharing, either through third
parties or, eventually, bilaterally with the Indians, could lead to a
successful prosecution. End summary.

MOI HESITANT TO MOVE CASE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT CHANNELS


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (C) DCM called on Kamal Shah, Ministry of Interior State Secretary
(the senior civil servant in the MOI) to discuss prospects for
shifting the Mumbai bombing case from intelligence to law enforcement
channels. Shah expressed his deep concern, as a law enforcement
professional, about pursuing a court case when there was not enough
evidence to convict. He was particularly worried in this case
because the Government of Pakistan (GoP) would want to prosecute the
top level planners of the operation on conspiracy charges, which are
notoriously difficult to prove. That kind of case required an
especially high level of confidence in the quality and the
admissibility of the evidence. And if the government brings a case,
he said, and fails to achieve a conviction, the entire episode will
be seen as a whitewash, which may make matters even worse.



3. (C) Turning to the issue of public perception, Shah was also
bothered by apparent pressure to make Pakistani progress on the case
public. He stressed that complex cases took time to develop, and
that making public names of suspects or showing the government's hand
early on only damaged the case in the long run.

"ONLY PIECE OF EVIDENCE IS A LETTER FROM KASAB"


--------------------------

-



4. (C) So far, said Shah, India had only provided one piece of
evidence: a letter that purports to be from the lone surviving
attacker, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab. Shah showed DCM a copy of the
single, double-spaced letter handwritten in pencil and provided a
rough translation:

Quote. I am Mohammed Ajmal Kasab. My mother (NFI) and my father
(NFI) live in the village of Faridkot. With my companions, I arrived
on the 26th. We reached Mumbai and the same night we were involved
in a scuffle with the police. My companion Ismail Khan was killed
and I was injured. On the 27th, I was arrested, and the police filed
a case against me. I need a lawyer and want to meet with the High
Commission and talk to you. Please meet me soon, I am waiting. I am
a patriot. End Quote.

COURSE OF THE INVESTIGATION


--------------------------





4. (C) Shah expressed frustration that, on the face of it, the
information in the letter was not nearly enough to begin to make a
case. It did not admit involvement in the attacks, it did not name
the other co-conspirators, and it did not identify the planners or
organizers of the operation. DCM advised Shah that the USG had had
access to Kasab and had taken a much more extensive statement from
him that provided many of the details. We are trying to make
arrangements to share our information with the GOP.



5. (C) Shah said the GoP had tried to follow up on the basis of the
information it had seen, but there were no exit records (land, sea,
or air) on a person of that name. He also said they had investigated
the village that Kasab claimed to be from. The people named in his
letter existed, but the only child they had was born in 1997.
Additionally, the SIM cards which were apparently recovered from the
attackers' phones did not belong to Pakistan, but were from other
countries.

ISLAMABAD 00003943 002 OF 002



LIMITATIONS ON PUBLIC INTERVIEWS BY THOSE DETAINED


--------------------------



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6. (C) To DCM's question, Shah clarified that the GoP had not
issued a general order to the press against publicizing statements
made by those associated with Jamaat ud-Dawa. Shah said the GoP did
not have the ability to enforce such a thing against more than 80
media stations and newspapers. Instead, it had instructed Provincial
governments to prevent those being detained from having access to the
media. With the exception of one interview given very early on, that
policy had been enforced. DCM also informed Shah that we would be
sharing with the GOP the name and contact information for the Jamaat
ud-Dawa webmaster through law enforcement channels. Shah appeared
unfamiliar with the issue.



7. (C) Comment. DCM left the door open for a possible exchange of
information through the FBI. At the moment, it does not appear that
the GoP has clarified its thinking on how to move this case from
intelligence to law enforcement channels. Shah also appeared
unfamiliar with the information that we believe is available to the
Government of Pakistan through their questioning of suspects in ISI
custody. We will continue to press for Pakistani-Indian cooperation
and information sharing, and to look for ways that the organizers of
the operation can be brought to justice.