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No confusion over direct access to Headley: Chidambaram

No confusion over direct access to Headley: Chidambaram
PTI
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First Published: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 12 43 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 12 43 PM IST
London: Union home minister P Chidambaram has said that there was no confusion over the issue of Indian investigators getting direct access to Pakistani-American LeT operative David Coleman Headley or not.
“No, I don’t think so,” Chidambaram shot back when asked whether there was a U-turn by the US after its envoy in New Delhi Timothy J. Roemer said that “no decision on direct access for India to David Headley has been made.”
“...If you reflect more carefully that sentence (of Roemer) no way (it) contradicts what the US attorney (Eric Holder) has told me,” Chidambaram, who is here on an official visit, told a TV news channel.
Last night home secretary GK Pillai said that India was not taking cognisance of Roemer’s remarks and would be sending its investigators to the US at the earliest.
“I think we are going ahead and we are not really taking cognisance of the US ambassador’s remarks,” he said.
49-year-old Headley had last week pleaded guilty to all the 12 terror charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India, murdering and maiming persons and providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people.
Following a telephonic discussion with Holder, Chidambaram had directed National Intelligence Agency and other agencies concerned in the case to quickly prepare documents necessary to start a judicial proceeding in which Indian authorities could require Headley to answer questions and to testify.
Headley will cooperate with Indian investigators: lawyer
Chicago: Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to plotting Mumbai attacks, will cooperate with Indian authorities as required under the terms of his plea agreement if the US government allows, his lawyer has said.
John Theis said 49-year-old Headley’s terms of the plea agreement on 18 March requires that he allows himself to be interviewed by Indian authorities.
“Headley will cooperate to the extent it is required to by the terms of his plea agreement but as for the specifics I think really our government and our US attorney’s office have to be the ones to determine the actual form (of access),” he told PTI when asked to comment about US ambassador Timothy J. Roemer’s statement that no decision on direct access for India to David Headley has been made.
“He is in US custody and so interviewing him does implicate the security issues and things like that,” Theis said.
When asked if Indian investigators, who come to the US, can be assured that they would get access to Headley and be able to put their questions to him, Theis said: “I’m not the one to ask that. You will have to ask our government, our US attorney’s office. They are the ones who are going to determine how this actually happens.”
Meanwhile, an FBI spokesperson told PTI: “If the plea agreement says that Headley has agreed to meet with investigators from India, then that is what he will do. It is a question of when and where. But I’m sure if that is what he agreed to, that is what will happen.”
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First Published: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 12 43 PM IST
More Topics: David Headley | India | US | Pakistan | Terrorism |