26/11 TRAIL

One of the terrorists behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks will be pardoned in return for information

Mumbai attacks.
Mumbai attacks.
Image: Reuters/Arko Datta
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On Dec. 10, an Indian court accepted a plea from David Coleman Headley—one of the accused in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks—for pardon on the condition that he would become an “approver,” The Indian Express newspaper reported. An approver is someone who was part of a crime but confesses his guilt and gives evidence against his co-conspirators.

The 55-year-old is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a US prison for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks. He presented his plea before a Mumbai court through video conferencing. Reading a prepared statement, Headley told the court:

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… 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.

On Nov. 26, 2008, 10 heavily armed Islamist militants attacked several sites in Mumbai, including the city’s main railway station, a popular restaurant, two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre. A total of 166 people were killed and 300 others were injured in the attacks.

Headley, who has claimed that he is a member of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was arrested in Chicago in 2009 on his way to Pakistan. He was convicted for his role in the attacks by a US court in 2013.

He will depose before the Mumbai court as a prosecution witness on Feb. 8 via video conferencing.