India, US to work on access to Headley

India and the US will work out processes to give Indian investigators access to David Headley, a planner of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, and the issue will figure during their Strategic Dialogue in Washington next month.

Last Updated: May 16, 2010, 13:25 PM IST

New Delhi: India and the US will work out processes to give Indian investigators access to David Headley, a planner of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, and the issue will figure during their Strategic Dialogue in Washington next month.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is scheduled to travel to Washington on June three for the first ever India-US Strategic Dialogue with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton
since its upgrading to the ministerial level last year.

During the Strategic Dialogue, the issue of access to Headley will be discussed, official sources said.

"They are saying yes to access to Headley. But the process has to be followed. Their process is totally different from our process. Process has to be gone through before we get access. That is our understanding," the sources said.

The US has assured at the top level that Indian investigators will get access to Headley to unravel the entire conspiracy of the Mumbai attack.

In pursuance to that Indian Solicitor General Gopal
Subramaniam had travelled to the US late last month to discuss
legal modalities in this regard.

The sources pointed out that the legal system in the US
was different than that of India and hence there was need to
understand it properly and move ahead accordingly.

India wants to question Headley in a manner that his
statement would be acceptable in a court of law here. In this
regard, a chargesheet would also be required to be filed
against Headley in India.

Headley, who was arrested in October last year, has
entered into a plea bargain with the US government wherein he
has offered to be available to foreign investigators through
deposition, video conferencing or letters.

He has told his America interrogators that he had
conducted recce for the Mumbai attacks several times. He has
also revealed that a serving Pakistani Army Major had given
training to him in Pakistan.

Besides the issue of Headley, Krishna and Clinton will
discuss matters related to nuclear safety and working out the
nitty-gritty of the Manmohan Singh-Barack Obama Knowledge
Initiative to increase varsity linkages and junior faculty
development exchanges between US and Indian universities.

PTI