Mumbai: A court on Monday directed the Prosecutor in 26/11 Mumbai attacks case to check with US authorities their availability for a second round of depositon of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, who had earlier this month made damning disclosures on the plotting and execution of the daring strike during his testimony.
The direction was issued by Sessions Judge GA Sanap after lawyer of key 26/11 plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal informed the court that he wanted to cross-examine Headley for four days.
The court directed Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to contact the US authorities, check their availability for Headley's second round of deposition and inform the court of the details by 25 February. Once the availability of the authorities concerned in the US is checked, the court will fix dates for Headley's deposition.
Jundal's lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan also moved applications objecting to Headley being made an approver in the 2008 terror attacks case besides making pleas seeking copies of certain documents and CDs. On 13 February, the day on which Headley's week-long deposition ended, the court had adjourned the case for cross-examination by Jundal's lawyer for a future date.
Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US in connection with the terror attacks case, had given insights to LeT and Al-Qaeda's plans to target India, during his testimony which began on 8 February. He spoke about how Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI provides "financial, military and moral support" to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen and how LeT had planned and executed the 26/11 attacks and the role played by ISI officials, involving him too.
He also claimed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy. Deposing via a video-link from the US, the 55-year-old terrorist had told the court that — Ishrat Jahan — who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004 in Gujarat — was an operative of LeT.
Headley had also stated that Al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi's National Defence College and unravelled the plot by LeT and ISI to target Mumbai airport, BARC and the Naval air station here. He also visited the Indian Army's Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI's Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get "classified" information, the court was told.