`Pak should make Headly approver in 26/11 case`
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Last Updated: Friday, August 06, 2010, 19:25
Mumbai: Pakistan should adduce evidence of terror convict David Headley by making him an approver in the 26/11 attacks case instead of asking India to send Mumbai magistrate R V Sawant Waghule to testify in a court there, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said on Friday.

"If Pakistan is really interested in punishing the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks, why have they not considered adducing evidence of Headley as an approver through video conference," asked Nikam, who conducted the 26/11 trial in a special court here.

Asked about his reaction to Pakistan's request to India on examining evidence of magistrate Sawant Waghule, who had recorded the confession of lone captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab, Nikam said it was prerogative of the government to consider this.

"But if Pakistan's investigating agency wants to make Kasab as a wanted accused, then was it necessary for them to implead Headley as one of the wanted accused since he was a conspirator of 26/11 terror attacks," Nikam told PTI.

According to the provisions of Pakistani criminal code, they can turn Headley into approver and adduce his evidence through video link not only against the perpetrators of crime but also against those who had actively assisted in facilitating 26/11 terror acts and who are still at large, Nikam said.

One of the conditions imposed by a US court in the plea bargain of Headley was that he can give evidence in Pakistan also and therefore his evidence can be recorded through video link, Nikam said.

"Headley's evidence would expose the gravity of the 26/11 conspiracy and Pakistan should evince keen interest in leading his evidence if they wanted to fight against terror."

Kasab has already given a judicial confession in the trial court here in accordance with Indian Evidence Act implicating himself and co-accused in Pakistan. His confession can be used against co-accused as well, Nikam said.

However, Kasab's trial is over and the question of trying him in Pakistan is improbable because according to Pakistan law it would be marred by double jeopardy, he said.

"Therefore to ask for examination of the Mumbai magistrate in a Pakistan court for proving confession of Kasab is just beyond my imagination," Nikam said.

Both, Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale were already examined in the trial court here and their evidence was forwarded to Pakistan, Nikam said and wondered what purpose it would serve to examine them again in a Pakistan court.


First Published: Friday, August 06, 2010, 19:25

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