India plans to send panel to US to get evidence from Headley

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) India is contemplating sendinga commission to the United States for getting evidence fromLashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley and his wife, who hasbeen kept away from Indian investigators so far.

The National Investigation Agency, which is probingthe case, also plans to file a charge sheet soon against thePakistani-American terrorist who is accused of having donerecce of targets before the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said a Commissionmay even be sent to the United States for getting evidence,may be from Headley, his wife and from other people, for whichit would talk to the US authorities.

"We need to get evidence fully on board. We cannotcall them here because the request for examining his wife isstill pending with the US government. We have not received anyresponse yet," he said in an interaction with PTI journalists.

Pillai said when an NIA team had visited the US toquestion Headley, the examination was done under particularcircumstances.

"It has no evidential value. It was just a statement,not in the presence of a magistrate... signed or sealed. It isjust a hearsay statement. We have to make it into anevidential statement," he said.

Asked whether India would seek permission from the USto send the Commission, he said "Yes, that is the legalprocess which is required. Once the charge sheet is filed, itwill be done".

After filing the charge sheet, the government wouldtake permission from the court to send a commission toPakistan also to question those involved who helped Headleyand was giving directions to ten terrorists.

The terrorists carried out the worst ever terrorattack in India that killed 179 people.

Asked whether the US authorities should have takeninto confidence the Indian agencies before entering a pleabargain agreement with Headley as India was the place of histerror acts, Pillai said "oh yes, no doubt about that".

"We made it very clear to the US, during discussionlevel, that they entered into an agreement with David Headleysaying that he would not be extradited to India and pleabargain and so on and so forth, on something where not onlyIndians but Americans were killed," he said.

50-year-old Headley, plead guilty to all the 12 terrorcharges of conspiracy involving terror acts in India, andentered into plea bargain with US authorities.

Under the plea bargain, Headley would not beextradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark for any offences forwhich he has pleaded guilty. .

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