India to send team to quiz Headley | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India to send team to quiz Headley

delhi Updated: Mar 23, 2010 00:25 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
American-Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayyeba

India will send a team of police officers to question American-Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative David Headley who last week confessed to plotting the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The team is expected to visit the US in early April after the National Investigation Agency and intelligence agencies complete the formalities to seek access to Headley.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram — who will return from the United Kingdom on Wednesday — is expected to hold deliberations with experts this week to finalise the composition of the team, the legal framework to be invoked and the broad contours of his questioning.

Besides focussing on the Lashkar plans in India, a senior government official said access to Headley would also confirm suspicions of a link between his recces in Pune and the mid-February blast in the German Bakery that killed 17 people.

India will also like him to put the involvement of state and non-state actors of the Pakistani security establishment on record and the nature of the facilitation, or support, that the LeT receives from them.

The government is consulting legal experts on the leeway available to Delhi under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US that came into force in 2005 — around the same time that Headley was getting into the 26/11 conspiracy.

“It should be possible for investigators to question him as well as get his responses to questions transmitted through official channels, through a letter rogatory under the treaty,” a government official said.

There have been some assurances from the US that the plea agreement between the Department of Justice and Headley had taken concerns of foreign countries involved in Headley plot — India, Pakistan and Denmark — into consideration.