26/11 case: Headley cross-examined in Mumbai court

RSTV Bureau
File photo of David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist. A Mumbai court directed that Headley must be produced in the 26/11 terror attack case on December 10 by video-conference while allowing a plea by Mumbai police to make him an accused. PTI Photo

File photo of David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist.  PTI Photo

Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s cross-examination has begun in a Mumbai court in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case.

The four-day cross examination is being carried out via a video link from an undisclosed location from an American prison.

Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the terror attack, is cross-examining Headley.

Headley has revealed that Tahawwur Rana, his associate and a Pakistani native who operated an immigration business in Chicago, was aware that he was an operative of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Mumbai sessions judge G A Sanap, Headley said, “Rana knew about my association with LeT. I informed him about the training imparted by me to LeT operatives. I disclosed to Rana that I was spying for LeT. This was four to five months before the 26/11 attacks.”

The 55-year-old terrorist, who has turned approver in the 26/11 case, further said Rana had objected to his association with LeT.

“Rana objected to my association with LeT. He did not want me to continue using his office in Mumbai. I conceded his objection and started taking steps to close down the office. This was in July 2008,” he said.

However, Headley refused to answer questions about his wife Shazia.

“Shazia is still my legally wedded wife. I do not want to disclose Shazia’s location at present. I do not want to answer any question about my wife Shazia,” he said.

Headley’s cross-examination was initially supposed to begin on Tuesday but was deferred by a day because Headley’s attorney had informed the court that he was unwell and requested the court to defer the proceedings.

Earlier Headley concluded his week-long deposition before Mumbai sessions court through a video-link from the US on February 13.

On February 22, Judge G A Sanap had directed Nikam to contact US authorities for Headley’s second round of deposition and inform the court by February 25, after which the dates of his testimony were to be finalised.

Meanwhile, Jundal’s lawyer sought four days to cross-examine Headley. Khan has also filed an application objecting to Headley being made an approver by the court.

Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US, said in his deposition how Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, and how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 attack. He also said that Ishrat Jahan, killed in an allegedly fake encounter in Gujarat, was an LeT operative.

(With inputs from PTI)