Evidence recorded, cross-examination later

Evidence recorded, cross-examination later

The nearly 30-hour-long examination-in chief of Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, spread over six days, concluded on Saturday. However, his cross-examination would be conducted later this month. 

The evidence was recorded by Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap, who presides over anti-terrorism cases at the Mumbai Sessions Court at Kala Ghoda in south Mumbai. 

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, an expert in handling terrorism-related cases, asked over 750 questions and supplementaries to the 56-year-old terrorist who deposed via a video-telephone link from an unidentified location in United States. 

Headley, on December 10, was pardoned by the Mumbai court and he turned an approver. In the US, he has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a plea bargain.

The Indian accused, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal’s lawyer Wahab Khan started the cross-examination but because of paucity of time, he could ask only five questions. He also said that he has not been given the statement which Headley was referring to. “I have to prepare and go through the confession statement of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab,” he said. After heated arguments between Nikam and Khan, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani intervened and told the judge that since it was Saturday if timings were extended, “we can conduct just around two hours it would not be possible for the cross-examination to complete”. 

The Judge then asked the US attorney Sarah whether it can be done on Monday.

 However, she said it was not possible. Later, it was decided that Khan would communicate by February 22 how much time he would take for cross-examination following which the Department of Justice in US would be informed and the new date would be fixed.  

‘Wanted to recruit spies from Army’
Terrorist David Headley on Saturday said his masters in the Inter-Service Intelligence and Lashkar-e-Toiba wanted him to penetrate the Indian Army’s Pune-headquartered Southern Command and recruit spies, DHNS reports from Mumbai.
During his deposition before a Mumbai court, Headley said that on two different occasions, he had undertaken a reconnaissance of Pune, one of the most important strategic locations of Pune. He said in Pune, he had checked in at the Hotel Surya Villa from 16 to 17 March 2009. Asked whether he knows any defence installations in Pune, he said: “It is the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army.” Asked whether he visited the place, he said: “Nominally on this occasion, but previously, I had visited.” Asked about it, he said: “I just made a general video of it...took an autorickshaw in Pune for an hour and hour-and-a-half.”
When probed as to what was the idea: “It was the same like nuclear reactors (referring to his spying of BARC in Mumbai), trying to recruit people and get classified information.”
He also confirmed making a video of the Chabad House in Pune and said he had made the “video from outside” as “there was not enough time for survey”.

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