Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

David Headley pardoned in 26/11 case; Mumbai court makes him approver

David Headley would depose as a prosecution witness on 8 February 2016

Mumbai: David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist, was on Thursday made approver by a Mumbai court which granted him pardon in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, a development that may help unravel the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan.

He would depose as a prosecution witness on 8 February 2016.

Headley, currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks, on Thursday told the sessions court in Mumbai through video link from an undisclosed location, that he was ready to depose if given pardon.

After the special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court that the prosecution was agreeable to Headley’s offer, the judge G.A. Sanap made Headley an approver, subject to certain conditions and granted him pardon.

“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 earlier this evening.

“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.

On 18 November, the court had said that Headley must be produced through video conference on 10 December as it allowed the Mumbai police’s plea to make him an accused.

The police had said he should be tried by the Mumbai court along with the key conspirator Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal.

The police’s application also noted that Headley entered into a plea bargain agreement with US authorities in 2010, and thereby willingly and voluntarily agreed that he was part of the conspiracy behind the 26 November 2008 attacks in Mumbai which claimed 166 lives.