In final arguments in the trial of Tahawwur Husain Rana, a key accused in the Mumbai attacks, U.S. prosecutors defended a plea agreement with David Headley saying it helped FBI extract invaluable information from him about LeT, while the defence portrayed him as a conman who duped their client.
Government Attorney Vicky Peters told the jury that in the first two weeks of his arrest in 2009, Headley provided information on the entire leadership structure of LeT, its work structure and planning of terrorist plots.
She defended the plea agreement with Headley, a Pakistani-American, under which he will not be given death sentence and will also not be extradited to Pakistan, India or Denmark, saying that this was in exchange for the cooperation extended by the LeT operative.
The information provided by Headley was shared with other governments, she said, without mentioning India, adding that this helped in preventing a number of terrorist attacks.
While stating that there is no doubt that Headley is an “awful man”, she added that to carry out an attack requires a lot of planning and manpower.
“Headley is a big part of the conspiracy. But it is this man (Rana) who helped Headley to travel to India, set up business there,” Ms. Peters said.
She said under the guilty plea agreement, Headley would not be given death sentence, but the government would request the judge to give him as many years of imprisonment as he thinks it fit.
50-year-old Rana himself, however, chose to remain silent and did not testify at his trial in a court here that stretched for a fortnight.
“I waive the right,” Rana said when asked by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber whether he wanted to testify.