U.S. would consider giving India further access to David Headley, who has pleaded guilty in the Mumbai terrorist attacks case, for questioning by its investigating agencies once New Delhi makes such a request, the State Department has said.
“We have said in the past we’ve granted that access (to Headley) and, you know, obviously there was the trial that took place, but in the future we would consider providing that access again,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference here.
Last year, a team of Indian officials had questioned Headley, a Pakistani-American LeT operative, in Chicago.
Headley has pleaded guilty to 12 terrorism charges, including his involvement in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.
Headley was also the start witness to the just concluded trial of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Husain Rana, who was acquitted by a Chicago court in the Mumbai terrorist attack case.
Besides, Mr. Toner said the trial of Rana in the Chicago court has sent a clear message that those who help terrorists would be brought to justice.
“Thursday’s verdict sends a clear message that all those who help terrorists will be brought to justice, and all those who seek to facilitate violence abroad, as Rana did, will be held accountable,” Mr. Toner said.
He, however, refrained from making any comment on the acquittal of Rana on charges related to his involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
“It was clearly a judicial proceeding. The jury announced its verdict; I don’t have any comment on the verdict other than to say he is going to jail for 30 years possibly, and it’s an indication that we will hold these people accountable,” Mr. Toner said.
Rana, was found guilty by a federal jury that deliberated two days following a trial that began May 16, 2011, in U.S. District Court of Chicago.
The jury acquitted Rana of conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
50-year-old Rana, a Canadian citizen, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorism plot in Denmark and one count of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization LeT.
Rana faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the two counts combined and remains in federal custody without bond. No sentencing date was set.