Indian Lawyer Wants Justice for Terror Suspect

The only person charged in the terror attack that gripped Mumbai, India, for days and left 171 people dead finally may have legal representation after more than two weeks in police custody.

Mumbai-based lawyer Kaikhushru Lam said he submitted paperwork Monday to represent alleged Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab.

Lam said he was inspired to volunteer when he read in Indian newspapers that no one would represent Kasab. He said his friends have warned him against taking the case, fearing that harm will come to him and his family.

"'You have a 97-year-old mother, don't be selfish, think of her life,'" Lam said his friends implored him. But, he told ABC News, "We can't be affected. We've got to do what we think is right, and justice will see us through."

So far, he said, he has not received any threats.

Until Lam stepped forward Monday, no Indian lawyer had agreed to take the case. Many cited nationalism and fear of retaliation if they agreed to represent Kasab, the sole captured gunman in last month's Mumbai attacks in which 171 people were killed and more than 230 injured.

Prominent India lawyer Dinesh Mota said his "Indian constitution" prevented him from accepting a legal aid group's call for his support.

"I heard only my inner voice and inner value," he said. "That is why I took the decision that I should not represent."

But Lam, a mathematician-turned-lawyer, said the reason for his decision is twofold: to bring Kasab to justice in order to serve all of India, and to ensure that all humans receive a fair trial.

"Every single human being should be entitled to a fair defense," he said.

Lam said that by representing Kasab, he will help bring justice to Indians.

"If he doesn't want to defend himself and he wants a lawyer to defend him and can't get a lawyer, then no trial will take place and he has to be acquitted," he said.

Lam has a private law firm in Mumbai. He said his friends joke that his law focuses on "underdogs and dogs" as much of his practice deals with medical injustice, animal welfare and the rights of arrestees and prisoners.

Lawyer Says Suspect's Best Defense 'Threatening Employer'

His interest in law began as a child, when he watched from his family's home as Westerners enjoyed the privileges of the Breach Candy Club -- a private club in South Bombay rumored to have been created so Englishmen did not have to bathe with Indians.

Lam said he thought of the club as a "mini South Africa with apartheid" and the discrimination he saw against Indians influenced his desire to help the underprivileged.

As of Tuesday, Lam had not met Kasab. But he said he has followed the attacker's story and believes his strongest defense would be the claim that he was working under a "threatening employer -- someone threatening to eliminate his family, for example."

"Never having met him, [the idea] that he was working under intimidating pressure ... that's the best defense he may have," Lam said.

Lam will likely hear Thursday if he will become Kasab's lawyer and, assuming that he does, it could take as much as a week until he meets him. Lam said the lone gunman has the right to reject him as his lawyer, though.

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