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26/11 trial: Court rejects plea to examine Headley as witness

March 22, 2010 17:43 IST

A special court rejected the plea to make Pakistan-American terrorist David Headley a witness in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case on Monday after the prosecution argued that he is one of the accused and part of a module, which had filmed targets in the city.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam opposed the plea by Sabauddin Ahmed, arrested in connection with the 26/11, for examining Headley as a witness, saying he was an accused and therefore cannot tender evidence.

Nikam said if Headley was extradited to India he will be treated as an accused and not as witness.

Forty-nine-year-old Headley had pleaded guilty in a US court last Thursday to all the 12 charges against him including his involvement in the 26/11 attacks.

The prosecutor said that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which executed the November 26, 2008, terror attacks, had formed different modules to collect information about the targets. Headley was one of them who had filmed the targets.

Accepting the prosecution contention, Judge M L Tahilyani said he had rejected a similar plea earlier and no fresh grounds has been made by Sabahuddin in this application to examine Headley as a witness.

Sabahuddin in his application had attached a copy of the guilt plea bargain between Headley and the US government.

The court, however said, it cannot take cognisance of the copy as it was downloaded from the Internet and not an authentic copy.

The court has also restrained Sabauddin's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi from circulating the copy to anyone else.

Sabauddin along with another Indian national Faheem Ansari and lone surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab are facing trial for their alleged involvement in the conspiracy of the terror attacks and for the murder of 166 people.

Sabauddin and Faheem have been accused of preparing maps of the sites that were targeted and of supplying them to members of the Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT.
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