Terrorist David Headley, Testifying from US, Says He Can be 26/11 Witness if Pardoned

MUMBAI:  Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley has offered to act as a witness for the prosecution in the 26/11 attacks case if the court grants him a pardon. Headley appeared before a Mumbai court via video-conferencing today. He is serving a 35-year jail term in an American prison after being convicted in the case.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. Accepting his role in the 26/11 attacks, David Headley, who was testifying from an undisclosed location in the US, said, “I appear here ready to answer questions regarding these events, if I receive a pardon from this court.”
  2. Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court that he will have to consult the investigation officers regrading Headley’s offer. The court has been adjourned for half-hour.
  3. The police wants to question Headley — a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror group responsible for the attacks in Mumbai which cost 166 lives — regarding the involvement of Pakistan army and its Inter-Services Intelligence.
  4. During his questioning by officers of India’s National Investigation agency, Headley allegedly said three senior Pakistan army officers played a prime role in the 26/11 attacks.
  5. The same Pakistani officers were reportedly named by Lashkar terrorist Abu Jundal, the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, against whom charges were framed last month in Mumbai.
  6. Pakistan has repeatedly rejected the charge that its army officers were involved in the attacks. It put seven men on trial, including Lashkar commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi. The trial has been on for seven years, raising charges of tardiness from India.
  7. Earlier this year, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi was granted bail, creating new tensions between Pakistan and India.
  8. On Wednesday, a joint statement issued by Pakistan and India during foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad said, “The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial.”
  9. In his memoirs written from jail, Headley detailed the 2009 attack from the planning stage. He has also confessed to filming the Mumbai landmarks during an extensive reccee for the attacks. He allegedly visited Mumbai five times to prepare the ground.
  10. Headley was arrested in October 2009 from Chicago while on his way to Pakistan. In 2013, he was sentenced by a US court for his role in the 26/11 attacks.

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