Headley set to be sentenced by Chicago court for 26/11 role

PTI Chicago | Updated on January 24, 2013

Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley, who “unquestionably contributed” to the Mumbai attacks that claimed 166 lives, is set to be sentenced by a court here tonight, with the US Government seeking a lighter 30-35 years’ jail term for him as he provided “valuable” information about the militant outfit.

52-year-old Headley, who was arrested by the FBI in October 2009 at the Chicago airport on his way to Pakistan for meetings with top terrorist leaders including Illyas Kashmiri, had pleaded guilty to his role in the 26/11 attacks in 2008.

In its pre-sentencing memorandum, the US Government has justified its decision to seek 30-35 years of imprisonment, which seems lighter considering the fact that prosecutors had sought 30 years of imprisonment for his childhood pal Tahawwur Rana for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Arguing that Headley provided valuable information about terrorist outfits like LeT and their leaders, the US Government notified the Chicago court of the agreement it had with Headley, under which they would neither seek death penalty nor extradite him to India, Pakistan or Denmark.

“While there is no question that his criminal conduct was deplorable, his decision to cooperate, and the uniquely significant value that cooperation has provided to the Government’s efforts to combat terrorism, support the Government’s recommendation,” it said in its submission before the Chicago court on Tuesday through Gary S. Shapiro, the Acting United States Attorney.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on US District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber — who last week sentenced Rana to 14 years of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

In the court, the judge had announced five years of supervised release, which according to court papers a day later was revised to three years.

The Chicago court yesterday issued a detailed advisory for the media covering the sentencing hearing of Headley, as a large number of national and international media persons swooped in to Chicago for the event.

Published on January 24, 2013

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