Mumbai, Nov 18: A special court in Mumbai has ordered that David Headley be made an accused in the 26/11 case. Headley is the American terrorist who had surveyed the targets that were attacked on 26/11 at Mumbai.
The decision to make Headley an accused in the case would mean he would be tried for his role in the 26/11 case.
However, he will be tried in-absentia as he cannot be extradited to India from the United States of America.
Headley is currently lodged in a jail in the USA after he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
After his arrest he had entered into a plea bargain deal with the FBI which meant he could not be extradited to any country and also not be given a death sentence.
In the wake of this plea bargain deal, he cannot be brought down to India and tried in a court.
However, the prosecution may write to the FBI seeking permission to try Headley through video conferencing. However in all probability the request may be turned down.
Make Headley an accused:
On the last date of hearing the special court had taken objection and even asked the prosecution why Headley was not made a wanted accused in the case.
The special court made these observations while hearing the case against Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari who was the Hindi tutor for the ten terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attack.
An application has been filed by the prosecution stating that Headley must be tried. The court took serious objection to the fact that the prosecution was relying only on the evidence provided by the US. The court felt that India must have evidence of its own against Headley.
Why are you coming with evidence collected by others the court asked while also questioning the Mumbai police for not investigating the Headley angle to the case.
The Mumbai police which launched the investigation into the 26/11 attack after the capture of Ajmal Kasab was clueless about the existence of David Headley.
It was the Americans who revealed the role of Headley. However Headley struck a plea bargain deal with the US which meant that he shall neither be sentenced to death nor extradited to India.
However, the National Investigation Agency which was formed after the 26/11 attack managed to question Headley once in the US. Officers of the NIA returned to India and built a case based on Headley's interrogation.
However, Headley did not reveal anything new apart from what he had already told the FBI. India today continues to stick to the evidence against Headley that has been provided by the FBI.
Effectively, India has not got anything new against Headley.