NIA makes fresh appeal to interrogate Headley’s Moroccan wife

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2015 16:15 IST

NIA has sent a fresh request to Moroccan authorities for recording the statement of Faiza Outalha mainly pertaining to her knowledge about her estranged husband David Headley’s association with Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, a move which is apparently aimed at unravelling the role of state actors in Pakistan in 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The development came after the Moroccan authorities, while executing a Letters Rogatory(LR) sent by the NIA in 2012 after many months, had sent a statement of Outalha recorded by the law enforcing agencies of that country.

It, however, did not address many concerns of the NIA, which has registered a case in 2009 to probe the activities of Headley in India, official sources said.

According to the sources, the NIA sent a fresh request requesting the Moroccan authorities to allow a team of the NIA to question Outalha in person so that the role of two Pakistani army majors and Lashker terrorists Hafeez Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is further ascertained.

The fresh request has been with a French Translation as the Government of Morocco had returned previous requests asking for a translation of the documents as per the rule of the requested country, they said. French is generally used by the Moroccan government for international diplomacy.

In the absence of any Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty between India and Morocco, the LR has been issued on the basis of “Assurance of Reciprocity”, thereby promising the African country of all assistance in any legal cases in future.

Outalha had visited India twice and was used by Headley, a US national of Pakistani origin, while carrying out a reconnaissance mission at Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai where she was ostensibly on a visit.

As the US authorities are sitting on India’s request for questioning Headley, who is at present undergoing a prison term of 35 years in Chicago, the NIA hopes that the statement of the Moroccan lady will help in completing the jigsaw about role of ISI officials, the sources said.

NIA, which was handed over the task to probe the activities of Headley, has already filed chargesheet against Headley, his Canadian-Pakistani born Tahawuur Rana, Saeed, Lakhvi and five others including two army majors believed to be working for Pakistan’s ISI.

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