The suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks was freed from a Pakistani jail Friday after a court ordered that he be set free pending trial, his lawyer said.
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, said to be the operations chief for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the organization blamed for the 2008 attacks, was out of detention early Friday, said attorney Rizwan Abbasi. He still faces terrorism charges over the Mumbai attacks but the trial has not yet started.
“This is a triumph for law and justice,” Abbasi said.
It’s unclear if Lakhvi is banned from leaving Pakistan but Abbasi says he has to appear in court for his trial. His Pakistani passport was earlier deposited with the court authorities.
Lakhvi, who was first granted bail last December, is one of seven suspects on trial in Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. He was arrested in 2009 and had been in detention since then — until Friday. Lakhvi could not be reached for comment after his release.
India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to more actively pursue the case. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh described Lakhvi’s release as “unfortunate and disappointing,” according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said that the failure to effectively prosecute “known terrorists” is a “real security threat for India and the world.”