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Updated: April 13, 2010 10:39 IST

Details of India’s access to Headley ‘not yet worked out’

Narayan Lakshman
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In this December 9, 2009 courtroom sketch David Coleman Headley appears before a Chicago judge. India will write to the U.S. authorities to seek direct access to Headley in connection with the Mumbai attacks.
AP
In this December 9, 2009 courtroom sketch David Coleman Headley appears before a Chicago judge. India will write to the U.S. authorities to seek direct access to Headley in connection with the Mumbai attacks.

Even as pressure on the United States to provide Indian authorities with access to David Coleman Headley, accused in the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008, steadily rose, his attorney John Theis said, “specific details of the Indian authorities' meetings with or interrogation of Mr. Headley have not yet been worked out.”

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Theis, however, said on Monday that the plea agreement that Mr. Headley had struck with the DoJ “does anticipate Mr. Headley's cooperation with U.S. and Indian authorities.”

Mr. Theis referred to the text of the plea agreement which explicitly states that “if he [Headley] should breach this cooperation agreement and if the government, at its sole discretion, voids such agreement, the government will no longer be bound by its decision not to seek the death penalty.” The DoJ waived the death penalty for Headley on condition of his continued cooperation.

The plea agreement further noted that Headley had, however, been cooperating with the government since the time of his arrest on October 3, 2009, and to date had provided “substantial assistance to the criminal investigation, and also has provided information of significant intelligence value.”

Earlier a spokesman at the Chicago division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had said to The Hindu that the question of providing Indian authorities with access to Headley was “down to logistics.”

He added that if Headley did not cooperate, it would be a violation of his plea agreement and his case would then go back to the courts for further review.

On Monday Mr. Theis, however, said that when details for the interaction between Indian authorities and Mr. Headley were finalised, they would be shared with the public. This runs contrary to an earlier statement by the FBI to The Hindu according to which such details would not be announced to the public in any case, due to security concerns.

Mr. Theis, the FBI and the DoJ refused to provide further comments on the current progress with providing India with access to Headley.

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