26/11case: Mumbai court pardons Headley, makes him approver on condition

(From agencies)

The TADA court in Mumbai pardoned David Headley  — an American terrorist of Pakistani origin, and a spy who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the Nov. 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks — after he offered to become approver in the case on condition of getting exemption from punishment.

David Headley

David Headley

The pardon was given on Thursday on the condition that he will truthfully disclose all facts related to the conspiracy behind the Mumbai terror attacks and his role and the role of other participants. He would also have to answer all the questions of the prosecution related to conspiracy.

He will depose before Mumbai court as prosecution witness on February 8 via video conferencing.

Earlier in the day, he offered to be an approver in the 26/11 case before a sessions court in Mumbai through a video link from an undisclosed location in the US.

“I have received the charging document filed against me in this court. It charges me with same conduct for which I was charged in the US. I had pleaded guilty to the charges in the US and I admitted that I was participant in these charges,” Headley told the court.

“I accepted responsibility for my role in those offences in my plea agreement (in US). I also agreed to make myself available as a witness in this court. I appear here ready to answer questions regarding these events if I receive a pardon from this court,” he said.

Headley is currently serving 35 years in an American prison for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed.

Headley is said to have visited India five times between 2006 and 2008, made maps, shot video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House. His reconnaissance provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists who attacked Mumbai and their handlers.

The Mumbai court on November 19 had made Headley an accused in the 26/11 terror attacks case and directed that he be produced before it via video-conferencing on December 10.

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