Headley turns approver after court pardons him

Updated - December 05, 2021 09:02 am IST

Published - December 10, 2015 07:21 pm IST - Mumbai

The Pakistan-born American national and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative, David Coleman Headley, will depose as a prosecution witness before a special court here on February 8 after the court granted him conditional pardon on Thursday and accepted his proposal to turn approver in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack case.

Dressed in a black T-shirt, the former FBI agent, already sentenced to 35 years in prison by a U.S. court for his role in the attack, was produced before the Sessions Court here via video link on Thursday.

His U.S. attorneys refused to divulge his location to the court, citing confidentiality.

Special Judge G.A. Sanap is presiding over the trial of Indian national and alleged LeT handler Zabihuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal for his alleged role in the military-style terror strike

The prosecution had moved an application to make Headley a co-accused. Headley accepted the conditions laid down by the court.

The court had told Headley that he “disclose full and true facts leading to the happening of the attacks within his knowledge and the persons concerned, disclose his role and the role of others, disclose facts which he has admitted before the U.S. court in Illinois and truthfully and correctly answer the prosecution’s questions unfolding the entire criminal conspiracy and other offences.”

When asked, he denied being under pressure and said: “I am obliged to testify because of the conditions of my plea agreement.”

The court decided to grant him pardon as it felt his evidence as co-conspirator was “of immense importance and assistance to the prosecution.” His role was “categorically established” from the U.S. court’s judgment, records and plea agreement. Headley’s deposition would be the first piece of direct evidence of the criminal conspiracy.

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