NIA rejects Headley’s plea bargain with US

A Delhi court on Saturday adjourned till January 21 the pronouncement of its order on the chargesheet filed against Pakistani-American LeT operative David Coleman Headley by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Updated: Jan 07, 2012, 13:03 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday adjourned till January 21 the pronouncement of its order on the chargesheet filed against Pakistani-American LeT operative David Coleman Headley by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

During the hearing today, the NIA told the court that they do not accept Headley’s plea bargain with the US, adding this keeps the Indian government’s option of seeking his extradition open.

The NIA had chargesheeted Headley, Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed and two ISI officers for plotting terror attacks in India including the 26/11 strikes last month, two years after the LeT operative’s role in terror activities surfaced.

The chargesheet was filed in a special court in Patiala House which also named 26/11 attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Headley`s accomplice and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana and al Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri for waging war against the country and other relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, former Pakistani Army officer were also named in the chargesheet besides two officers Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali, believed to be working for Pakistan`s snooping agency, the sources said.

The chargesheet was filed after the Centre gave sanction to prosecute all the nine after being convinced of their role in planning terror strikes in India.

The NIA had registered a case against 50-year-old Pakistani-American Headley and Rana on November 12, 2009 and later on added other names after investigation by central security agencies showed a large set of people involved in terror activities against the country.

Both Headley and Rana are at present in custody of US authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley, who had entered into plea bargain with US authorities to escape harsh sentence.