Pakistani-origin LeT operative David Headley, accused of scouting targets for the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, has pleaded not guilty in a court in Chicago to updated terror charges, some of which carry death penalty.
Headley, 49, entered a plea of not guilty to all the 12 charges against him in the superseding indictment returned on
January 14 when he appeared for his arraignment before US Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, at the hearing that lasted about 10 minutes on Wednesday.
The hands and legs of Headley, who was wearing the regular US prison uniform -- an orange jumpsuit, were shackled
when he was brought into the packed courtroom. He talked briefly to his lawyers John Theis and Robert Seeder before the hearing began and at one point he even smiled and laughed.
Headley greeted the Judge 'Good Morning' and responded "I do your Honour" and "Yes your honour" when Keys asked him whether he understood the charges the prosecution read out to him and that the maximum penalty in his case is death if convicted.
Headley said "That is correct" when the Judge asked him if he is entering a not guilty plea.
The next status hearing has been set for February 23 before US District Judge Harry Leinenweber. But Headley's lawyers have requested that his presence be waived. Therefore, he is not required to be present in the court for his hearing on that date.