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Hillary defends decision to not extradite Headley

world Updated: Jan 29, 2013 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Outgoing United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said the task of bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to book was an “unfinished business” for her country.

Clinton also defended US decision to not extradite David Coleman Headley to India, saying the sentence was as much a punishment as recognition of his help in the investigations.

Headley was sentenced to 35 years in jail by Chicago court last week, for his involvement in the three-day 2008 Mumbai carnage that left 164 people dead.

Secretary Clinton was responding to questions put to her by Indian students participating in a multi-country townterview through satellite links Tuesday evening.

She is leaving office next month to be succeeded by John Kerry who was confirmed as her successor on Tuesday, as she took questions at the townterview.

The India leg of the townterview was conducted by NDTV’s Barkha Dutt, who asked the secretary about the efforts to bring the 26/11 perpetrators to justice.

The US state department put a bounty of $10 million for information leading to the conviction of the Hafiz Sayeed, the founder of Lashkar-i-Taiba.

“It is unfinished business that we are not in any way walking away from,” Clinton said adding, “I am leaving office but I can assure you and the Indian people that this remains one of our highest priorities.”

She was, as expected, asked about her plans for 2016 — whether she will run for the White House — and, as expected, she didn’t give a clear answer.

As of now, she said, she needs to catch up in 20 years of sleep deprivation.