Wednesday, February 22, 2012

David Coleman Headley : US will not extradite the man to India who once worked for it ...... legal formality may, however, go on for public consumption




Backed by a court order, India to seek extradition of Headley, Rana

Vishwa Mohan | TNN | Feb 20, 2012, 01.45AM IST

NEW DELHI: Armed with a special court order, India will soon write to the US seeking extradition of American citizen David Coleman Headley and his Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana for their trial here for plotting with LeT and HuJI terrorists to attack places of iconic importance in the Capital and other cities including Mumbai.

Though Headley had entered into a plea bargaining with US authorities and got immunity from being extradited to India or any other country, New Delhi has to follow the legal procedure by formally pressing for his extradition backed by the court order.

Taking cognizance of NIA's chargesheet against Headley, Rana, Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed, the outfit's key commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and five others, a special court here on Saturday sought their presence before it for trial on March 13.

"We will write to the US with reference of the court order. New Delhi will highlight that the chargesheet against Headley and Rana is not restricted to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case alone. It also covers the offences which do not come under the 12 counts on which he had pleaded guilty and entered into the plea bargaining," a home ministry official said.

Under the plea bargaining, Headley had become prosecution witness in the trial against Rana, who was acquitted by a US court in the 26/11 case but indicted for his role in a terror plot against Denmark. Both are currently in jail in Chicago.

"Rana may be acquitted in the Mumbai attack case, but he is an accused here in the case which pertains to a criminal conspiracy with LeT and HuJI terrorists to carry out attacks in New Delhi and other places in India," said the official.

He said New Delhi would also write to Washington to take into account the fact that the US authorities had agreed for Headley's plea bargaining without taking India on board despite a pending case against the accused here.

A section within the home ministry believes that though it is highly unlikely that the US will extradite Headley and Rana, the move may see some legal wrangling between the two countries -- especially if someone decides to approach an American court. Even under the existing extradition agreement between India and US, Rana will have to first undergo his sentence in an American jail if convicted for his role in the Denmark plot.

"In any case, the accused's appearance for trial through video link cannot be ruled out as a compromise in future," the official said.

The NIA has, meanwhile, begun the process of sending letter rogatory to Morocco for recording the statement of Headley's estranged Moroccan wife Faiza Outalha for evidence against him. She had visited India with Headley twice during the latter's reconnaissance mission.

India, which has already asked Pakistan for deportation of Saeed and Lakhvi, will again write to Islamabad with reference of the court order. Lakhvi, who is in jail, is being tried in a Rawalpindi court in the 26/11 case whereas Saeed and others chargesheeted by the NIA remain scot-free................http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQ0gvMjAxMi8wMi8yMCNBcjAwOTAw&Mode=Gif&Locale=english-skin-custom