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26/11 Mumbai terror attacks: David Headley turns approver, pardoned


David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist, was today made approver by a Mumbai court which granted him pardon in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, a development that may help unravel the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan. He would depose as a prosecution witness on February 8, 2016.

Headley, currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks, today told the sessions court here through video link from an undisclosed location, that he was ready to depose if given pardon. After the special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court that the prosecution was agreeable to Headley's offer, the judge G A Sanap made Headley an approver, subject to certain conditions and granted him pardon.

"I have received the charging document filed against me in this court. It charges me with same conduct for which I was charged in the US. I had pleaded guilty to the charges in the US and I admitted that .I was participant in these charges," Headley told the court earlier this evening.

"I accepted responsibility for my role in those offences in my plea agreement (in US). I also agreed to make myself available as a witness in this court. I appear here ready to answer questions regarding these events if I receive a pardon from this court," he said.

On November 18, the court had said that Headley must be produced through video conference on December 10 as it allowed the Mumbai police's plea to make him an accused. The police had said he should be tried by the Mumbai court along with the key conspirator Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal.

The police's application also noted that Headley entered into a plea bargain agreement with US authorities in 2010, and thereby willingly and voluntarily agreed that he was part of the conspiracy behind the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai which claimed 166 lives.

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