Headley’s cross-examination deferred to Wednesday

Mumbai: The cross-examination of Pakistani-American terrorist turned approver David Headley in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday, has been postponed by a day, an official said on Monday.

The deferment follows intimation from one of Headley’s attorneys who is unwell and who requested the proceedings to start on Wednesday, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

The court has ordered accordingly and now the cross-examination will be taken up from Wednesday, for four days, Nikam added.

Headley’s cross-examination in a special court will be done for four days by Abdul Wahab Khan, lawyer of Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is also facing trial in the 26/11 terror attack case.

Headley, 56, has already confessed to having done substantial ground work, intelligence gathering and providing other inputs to his handlers in Pakistan ahead of the terror strikes in Mumbai beginning on November 26, 2008, which killed 166 people and left over 600 injured.

His examination in chief was done by Nikam between February 8 and 13 after Headley agreed to turn approver in return for a pardon by the Indian authorities.

The proceedings were conducted before Additional Sessions Judge G.A. Sanap via video-conferencing from a jail in the US.

Nikam has already said that, if required, the prosecution may re-examine Headley at a later stage after the cross-examination.

Headley, convicted in the US for his role in the terror attack and the Denmark attacks plots, is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a US jail.

During his marathon deposition before the Special Court last month, he admitted to his links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other terror groups, the role of various state and non-state actors, conducting seven spying missions in Mumbai prior to the 26/11 attacks, besides divulging other sensational information to his handlers in Pakistan.