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US govt defends Headley's plea agreement

June 08, 2011 00:28 IST

United States prosecutors on Tuesday defended a plea agreement with David Headley, co-accused in the Mumbai terror attacks, saying that this helped the Federal Bureau to extract invaluable information from him about Laskar-e-Tayiba and other terrorist outfits and their leaders in Pakistan.

Concluding her closing argument, government Attorney Vicky Peters told the jury that in the first two weeks of his arrest in 2009, Headley provided the entire leadership structure of Lashkar-e-Taiba, its work structures and planning of terrorist plots.

Under the guilty plea, Headley will not be given death sentence and will also not be extradited to Pakistan, India or Denmark, saying that this was in exchange for the cooperation extended by the LeT operative.

The information was shared with other governments, she said, without mentioning India, adding that this helped in preventing a number of terrorist attacks. Observing that there is no doubt that Headley is an "awful man", she said to carry out an attack requires a lot of planning and manpower.

"Headley is a big part of the conspiracy. But it is this man (Rana) who helped Headley to travel to India, set up business there," Peters said.

Peters said under the guilty plea agreement, Headley would not be given death sentence, but the government would request the judge to give him as many years of imprisonment as he thinks it fit.

Lalit K Jha and Himani Kumar
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