Top MHA official meets Solicitor General; discusses Headley
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 00:12
New Delhi: The Home Ministry is considering legal options to gain direct access to American terrorist David Headley, notwithstanding a declaration by the US that no decision has been taken to allow India direct access to him.

Special Secretary (Internal Secretary) U K Bansal tonight met Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and discussed with him about the options available before Indian investigators to question Headley under the plea bargain agreement between him and the American government.

Sources said investigators believe that access to Headley, who has admitted to plotting the audacious Mumbai terror attack, can be obtained only through legal channels as he is under the custody of court, which functions under the US law.

"These are legal matters where law prevails and opinions or statements of individuals do not bear much significance," a source said.

The Home Ministry may take help, if necessary, of a few Indian lawyers who are familiar with the American legal system.

Under the plea bargain, India can have access to the 49-year-old terrorist by deposition, video conferencing or through Letters Rogatory. Sources said India will like to explore all the three.

Investigators believe that following the plea bargaining, Headley will give his statement to Indian investigators truthfully and correctly.

Four days after US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake publicly stated here that the Indian investigators will have access to Headley, American Ambassador Timothy J Roemer said in a statement that "no decision on direct access for India to David Headley has been made."

Headley had last week pleaded guilty to all the 12 terror charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India, murdering and maiming persons and providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people.

The US, which had so far denied India the right to question Headley who was arrested by the FBI in October last year, said he has agreed to "fully and truthfully" participate in this process which has to be undertaken only on American soil.


First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 00:12

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