Sohrabuddin case: Trial set to start in Mumbai CBI court

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Seven years after the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake encounter, a magistrate's court here Friday transferred the case to the special CBI court, paving the way for the start of the trial of 19 accused, including former minister Amit Shah.

"After completion of formalities the magistrate has committed the case to sessions court," said special public prosecutor Ejaz Khan.

The Supreme Court last year transferred the trial to Maharashtra from Gujarat, as CBI said the witnesses were being intimidated and the trial could not be held in a free and fair manner in that state.

Shah was the Minister of State for Home in Narendra Modi government before he stepped down as his name surfaced in the Sohrabuddin case. Shah recently won an Assembly election.

Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat's anti-terrorism squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

Further, Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to encounter, was allegedly killed by the police in Banaskantha district in December 2006.

According to CBI, Shah was the "kingpin" of the conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin. Most of the other accused in the case are policemen, some of them IPS officers.

Shah was arrested in July 2010 but released on bail after three months. A close confidante of Narendra Modi, Shah is currently out on bail.

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