US President Barack Obama has assured India that it would get access to Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, who has confessed to plotting the Mumbai attacks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
“I raised that matter with the President and he did mention to me that he is aware of the legal position, and that we would get access to David Headley,” Singh told a press conference here, wrapping up his 4—day US visit.
He was asked whether India would get access to the LeT operative, who had confessed to plotting the Mumbai carnage in a US court last month.
In his meeting with Mr. Obama on Sunday, Dr. Singh had personally raised the issue of access to Headley, which India has been asking to the US authorities for quite some time now.
India wants direct access to Headley to unravel the entire conspiracy surrounding the Mumbai attacks. It is keen to interrogate Headley in a way that is legally acceptable in a court in the country.
Earlier, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and his US counterpart James Jones discussed modalities by which access could be given to Headley.
Besides access, India is determined to seek Headley’s extradition. New Delhi has said that it would use every occasion to seek Headley’s extradition and access to him.
In his plea bargain with the US government, Headley (49) has offered to be subjected to questioning by foreign investigators through deposition, video conferencing or Letters Rogatory.
Under the plea bargain, he will escape death penalty and faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.