David Headley granted pardon, turns approver against Abu Jundal

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David Coleman Headley

Pakistani American David Coleman Headley was granted pardon by a Mumbai special court and made an approver and a witness in the case against plotter Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, in 26/11 terror attacks in 2008.

Headley was made an approver and granted a pardon on the condition that he disclose the conspiracy behind the 26/11 attacks. The TADA court will record his statement on February 8, 2016.

It may be noted that Headley appeared through video-conferencing from the the US where is serving a 35-year jail sentence.

Large TV screens were put up on either side of the judge’s dias. Ansari occupied one screen, while Headley occupied the other.

After asking if Ansari could see and hear the proceedings, Judge GA Sanap addressing Headley asked him his name, age and address. “My name is Dawood Geelani. Also I go by the name of David Headley,” he said. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni also attended the court.

Four people sat by Headley’s side, including Robert Seeder and John Theis, Assistant US Attorney Sarah Streicker and FBI agent Raymundo Nagera.

Reading out from a prepared text after the charges were read out by the judge, Headley said, “I have reviewed the charges, which are similar to those made by the US court. In my plea agreement, I have accepted responsibility for my role. I agree to make myself available as a witness in this court. I am ready to answer questions if I am granted a pardon from this court. Thank you.”

Faced with the unique request, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam sought time. When he returned after 7.30 pm, Nikam said, “The court is ready to accept your request, but under certain terms and conditions. You will unfold the conspiracy and strengthen the case against Jundal (Ansari).”

Headley was ordered to disclose facts relating to 26/11 conspiracy, his role, and those of other co-conspirators, along with answering all of the questions posed by the prosecution, truthfully.