American citizen David Headley, who was a key conspirator in 2008 Mumbai attacks in India was awarded 35 years of jail by US court for his role in the attacks, which left 166 people dead.
New Delhi, Jan 25/Nationalturk – The 52-year-old American citizen David Headley, who was a key conspirator in 2008 Mumbai attacks in India was awarded 35 years of jail by US court for his role in the attacks, which left 166 people dead. India has cautiously welcomed the US judgement.
According to US media, Judge Harry D Leinenweber of the US District Court sentenced Headley to 35 years after the prosecution asked for sentencing as opposed to life imprisonment as Headley had confessed and turned witness for the prosecution.
According to a statement issued by the prosecution, Headley pleaded guilty to all 12 counts against him in March 2010 and had been cooperating with authorities after his arrest.
While announcing the sentence, Judge Leinenweber called Headley a terrorist. Headley, born Daood Gilani, is a US citizen of part-Pakistan descent.
His sentencing comprises 35 years in jail, followed by five years of supervised release.
According to the prosecution, Headley had been convicted of “conspiracy to bomb public places in India; conspiracy to murder and maim persons in India; six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in India; conspiracy to murder and maim persons in Denmark; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in Denmark; and conspiracy to provide material support to Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba”.
A week earlier, Judge Leinenweber had sentenced 52-year-old Headley’s school time friend, Tahawwur Rana, for 14 years of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release for providing material support to LeT and planning terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper in Copenhagen.
Both Headley and Rana were arrested in 2009. Headley was small-time narcotics dealer turned US’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informer who went rogue.
Headley has confessed that he had undertaken numerous scouting missions for his handlers in Pakistan. He had videographed a number of targets in India including the iconic Taj hotel in Mumbai which was attacked by 10 militants on 26/11, 2008.
According to security agencies, the detailed videos made by Headley was the foundation on which the Mumbai attacks was planned and carried out.
Would have sought more punishment: India
Reacting to Headley’s sentencing, India’s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said, India would have sought much more punishment for him had he been tried in India.
“Had we tried him we would have sought much more,” Khurshid told a news channel when asked whether the 35-year sentence was adequate.
He said India has been consistently pushing for Headley’s extradition and trial in India and that “it’s good to know that he’s being made accountable and that he has at least got 35 years”.
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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk India News
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