Sohrabuddin trial set to begin in Mumbai court

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

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

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

Shah was minister of state for home in the Narendra Modi government. He stepped down after his name surfaced in the case. Shah recently won an assembly election.

Sohrabuddin and wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat anti-terror squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

CBI claimed Shah was the "kingpin" of the conspiracy. Most other accused in the case are cops, some IPS officers.

Shah was arrested in July 2010 but released on bail after three months. The Modi aide is out on bail.

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