David Headley to aid probe, pardoned

David Headley to aid probe, pardoned

David Headley to aid probe, pardoned

Lashkar-e-Toiba secret agent David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American who is one of the main conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was on Thursday night granted pardon after he pleaded to be made an approver.

Subsequently, a Mumbai special court asked Headley to disclose all information that he had shared earlier with a United States court. His statement would be recorded on February 8. Headley alias Daood Sayeed Gilani (55) is serving a term in the US, following a plea bargain, that saves him from death sentence and extradition.

Through videoconferencing, Headley appeared before Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap, who presides over special cases related to terrorism, including those charged under the now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.

Headley expressed his desire to turn approver to special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. “I have received the charging document filed against me in this court. It charges me with same conduct for which I was charged in the US (by the FBI). I had pleaded guilty to the charges in the US and I admitted that I was a participant in these charges,” said Headley.

“I also agreed to make myself available as a witness in this court. I appear here ready to answer questions regarding these events if I receive a pardon from this court,” he said. After Headley’s request, Nikam consulted the investigation officers.
Headley was arrested by the FBI in October 2009 at the O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, en route to Pakistan.

On January 24, 2013, Headley was sentenced by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to 35 years in prison for his part in the Mumbai attacks. 

Headley, who reportedly once worked undercover for the  Drug Enforcement Agency, was a CIA double agent who conspired with Lashkar and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks and helping them with the ground information.

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