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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Law Minister Moily says US must allow India to interrogate Headley

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bangalore, Mar 24 (ANI): Union Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said the United States should permit Indian investigating agencies to probe Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley.

When asked that is 'unfair' and 'unjustified' on part of the US denying access to Indian investigators because the Central Government had permitted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe 26/11 Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, Moily said we don't want to pass a value judgement on their policy.

"But this is the matter we need to hard press our argument, and have a strong bargain and tell them what is necessary. We need to make out a very strong case, which we have already made out how he is involved," said Moily.

"He is really involved. So in view of that, I think one day or the other, the US will have to agree to expedite the issue. Headley will have to undergo interrogation from our agents," he added.

India had earlier expressed satisfaction with Washington's cooperation on Headley.

United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake had on March 20 said Headley cannot be extradited to India now, but Indian investigators would be allowed to interrogate him.

Blake said that Headley would not be extradited to India, but Indian officials would be given the chance to interrogate him.

"The plea bargain agreement that was announced and part of the agreement was that United States would not extradite Headley either to India or to Pakistan or to Denmark on the charges for which he is now admitted guilty. That does not mean that at some future date, some additional charges could not be brought," said Blake.

"So, I don't want to speculate too much about that possibility of future extradition but at least on these charges he cannot be extradited. And the other question that has been raised is that whether Indian investigators will be allowed access to Headley to know more about his involvement in the planning of the Mumbai attacks, and the answer to that is yes," he added.

Headley pleaded guilty before a Chicago court on March 18, admitting he had scouted for targets ahead of a brazen terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

As a result, as per law, Headley will not face any trial or won't be given the death penalty.nder the plea bargain, Headley has escaped the death penalty. He also cannot be extradited from the US to India, Pakistan or Denmark. (ANI)

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