26/11 Mumbai attacks accused David Headley to testify before court

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2015 23:55 IST
File photo of LeT terrorist and one of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused, David Headley, in New Delhi. Headley’s attorney said he will testify before the special TADA court in Mumbai through video-conferencing. (PTI Photo)

David Headley, the Pakistani American convicted for his role in Mumbai terror attacks and plotting a strike on a Denmark newspaper, will depose in an Indian court as ordered by it.

His lawyer Peter T Their told PTI that Headley will depose in the court in compliance “with the terms of his plea agreement” with authorities in the US in 2010.

In return for cooperating with authorities, Headley obtained immunity from the death penalty and protection from extradition to face trial in a foreign country. In June 2010, just two months after signing the deal, he was interrogated by officials of the Indian NIA for seven days. He cooperated fully, officials had said.

Though his lawyer said he will depose, it was not clear how he will be treated as an accused as he cannot be extradited to be tried outside the US, as per the terms of his deal.

Read | David Headley: From a video store operator in NY to 26/11 accused

It allows him to depose or cooperate in relation to the case with the permission of the authorities, which in this instance would be the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Headley is serving 35 years at a prison not disclosed for his own security. So, he can’t be found through an electronic inmate locator.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bomber sentenced to death, can be found through the locator and has been traced to Florence ADMAX USP, a maximum security prison in Colorado. Underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, serving a life sentence for trying to blow up a commercial plane flying into the US in 2009, is also at the same facility.

The only David Headley the locator yields to a search request is an African-American man released in 1992, 20 years before Headley’s incarceration. “Not unusual,” said an official on background. Information about inmates considered at risk of being harmed in a prison can be kept a secret. And Headley, with all that he knows, is at risk.


Read | David Headley confesses in memoir: ‘LeT prepared me for Mumbai attacks’

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