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'Media can access Headley's interrogation tapes'

A US court on Wednesday allowed the media outlets access to parts of the video tapes, which were played during the trial of LeT operative David Headley's childhood friend and 26/11 attacks co-accused Tahawwur Rana.

world Updated: Oct 19, 2011 23:13 IST

A US court on Wednesday allowed the media outlets access to parts of the video tapes, which were played during the trial of LeT operative David Headley's childhood friend and 26/11 attacks co-accused Tahawwur Rana.

US District court judge Harry D Leinenweber ruled that only portions of the tape that were played in court will be allowed to be accessed by the media.

"We are to turn over what was played in court and we are to comply with the court's order," US Attorney Dan Collins told PTI after the hearing today.

American media outlets had filed the motion demanding access to behind-the-scene video tapes of FBI interrogation of Mumbai attacks plotter Pakistani-American Headley.

The motion was filed on October 6 after prosecutors refused to turn over to various media outlets the video tapes, which were played during the trial of Pakistani-Canadian Rana in June. Headley was the star witness in the trial.

While Rana's attorney Patrick Blegen did not specifically remember what parts of the tapes were played in court, Collins did, and so Judge Leinenweber ruled that what Collins remembers would be granted access.

The tapes were allowed to play in court in June by Blegen to show that Headley had duped his friend Rana.

But Blegen neglected to enter the tapes as evidence, a technicality now claimed by prosecutors as the reason they do not have to make it public.

Headley was accused in scouting targets and conducting a recce in Mumbai before 26/11 attacks that led to the death of 166 people including six Americans.

Headley testified to US authorities on conditions that he be not extradited to India and not be given the death penalty.

Rana's lawyers did not object to access of interrogation tapes by US media outlets.