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Access to Headley likely in weeks ahead: Roemer

The US on Wednesday said India will be able to get direct access to 26/11 accused David Headley in the "weeks ahead" after some formalities are completed.



Pune: The US on Wednesday said India will be
able to get direct access to 26/11 accused David Headley in
the "weeks ahead" after some formalities are completed.

"There are a couple of things the Indian government
needs to do and direct access will be delivered at some point
in the weeks ahead," US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer told
reporters after paying homage to the victims of the February
13 bomb blast at the German bakery here which left 17 dead.

Noting that he recognised the importance of Headley,
lodged in US custody, not only to the government of India but
also to the people of the country, he said, "Headley
symbolises the historic cooperation between the two countries.

"I would like to underscore that for the last several
weeks and months the US and Indian government have been
working closely together. The first step is indirect access...
questions being submitted and answers immediately given to the
people of India. The next step is direct access which we are
hopeful that it takes place in the weeks ahead," he said.

Roemer, however, declined to disclose the steps the
Indian government was required to take before direct access
was granted to Headley, who surveyed terror targets in Mumbai,
Pune and several other places in the country. "It is up to
your government to answer that," he told reporters who
insisted that he reveal the conditions to be met by the Indian
government to gain access to Headley.

Emphasising that the US wanted to help India in
gaining access to Headley, Roemer said, "Your Solicitor
General visited the US. He was extremely happy and satisfied
from the briefings he received in the US. Things went
extremely well for getting open the doors to Headley and India
now has to walk to that door."

The US Ambassador recalled how as a member of the 9/11
commission he could not get access to the mastermind of the
attack Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with the American government
refusing permission.

Roemer described as "incredible" the level of
cooperation between the US and India ever since he took over
11 months ago. "We have worked hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-
shoulder, neck-by-neck. There has not been any kind of trouble
on that part."

PTI

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