India hopeful of favourable response to Headley extradition

India hopes for a favourable decision by US on its request for extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist and Mumbai terror accused David Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana.

New Delhi: India is hopeful that the US would take a favourable decision on its request for extradition of American-born Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist and Mumbai terror accused David Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana before their sentencing in America.

Official sources said on Thursday that New Delhi is awaiting a response from Washington on its request sent last month to extradite Headley and Rana.

US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman had said on Monday that India`s request for extradition of Headley was under consideration and a decision could be taken soon.

India had access to 52-year-old Pakistani-American Headley, who recced the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack targets for the LeT, but so far has not been able to quiz his Pakistani- Candian businessman friend Rana.

New Delhi`s requests for access to Headley`s wife Shazia Gilani, his girlfriend Portia Peter, one more female friend are also yet to be acceded by Washington.

Sources said talks are being planned between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the US Department of Justice to discuss a series of issues, including Headley and Rana.

"Not only Headley and Rana, we are talking to the US on a number of issues very seriously," sources said.

Headley had pleaded guilty to 12 terrorism charges, including his involvement in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The sentencing of Headley has been fixed by a Chicago court on January 17 next year.

Last year, Rana was also convicted of providing material support to the terrorist organisation LeT. However, he was acquitted of conspiring to provide material support to the conspiracies to bomb public places in Mumbai. Rana`s sentencing will take place on January 15.

The issue of Headley and Rana was taken up by India with the US in a series of meetings including by the then External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Secretary of States Hillary Clinton, Union Home Secretary R K Singh with his American counterpart.