In a move that is likely to allow the Mumbai police crime branch to examine the key accused of the 26/11 attacks — US national David Coleman Headley and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana — a Letter Rogatory to that effect was issued by a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai to a court in Chicago where the duo is presently being tried.
The Letter Rogatory is a letter of request sent by a court in one country to a court in a foreign country to facilitate a judicial process.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said the 37th metropolitan magistrate court signed the Letter Rogatory on Monday. The crime branch had requested the court to issue this letter two months ago. The Letter Rogatory will be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Interpol wing, which will in turn dispatch it to the US government through the Ministry of External Affairs.
The US government will forward the letter to the Chicago court. Highly placed sources in the crime branch told HT that the Mumbai police are interested in examining the duo to know if there were any Indian links in the terror strike that was allegedly sponsored and planned in Pakistan. “The possibility of the terrorists having received local support needs to be examined. This can only be found by interrogating Headley and Rana,” a source said.
“If the crime branch finds that the terrorists had received support from locals, they will file a supplementary charge sheet in the case,” the source said before adding, “If the US court allows the duo to be examined, a team led by the investigating officer, will be sent there.” Headley and Rana, who plea-bargained in the US court before providing their testimonies, have already been questioned by the National Investigating Agency in India through interpreters.