US justifies 26/11 accused David Headley’s plea deal

David HeadleyChicago:  The trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Chicago-based businessman accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has come to an end in a court in Chicago. The jury will begin deliberations today. The verdict is expected soon.

In court on Tuesday, US prosecutors justified a plea agreement with Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley. 26/11 accused Headley is the key witness in Rana’s trial. He has already pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the attacks.

Concluding her closing argument, government Attorney Victoria Peters told the jury that the plea deal helped the FBI extract invaluable information from Headley about Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist outfits and their leaders in Pakistan.

She added that in the first two weeks of his arrest in 2009, Headley gave information on the entire leadership structure of the LeT, its work structures and the planning of terrorist plots.

Under the guilty plea, Headley will not be given death sentence and will also not be extradited to Pakistan, India or Denmark. This is in exchange for the cooperation he extended.

The attorney said the information was shared with other governments, without mentioning India. She added that this helped in preventing a number of terrorist attacks.

The Attorney however observed that “there is no doubt that Headley is an awful man”, and added that that under the guilty plea agreement, he would not be given death sentence, but the government would request the judge to give him as many years of imprisonment as he thinks fit.



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