Terming American Lashker operative David Coleman Headley’s revelations regarding the LeT hierarchy and its potential terror targets as “valuable” and “of interest not only to America but also other countries”, the US prosecutors on Wednesday indicated that the American authorities would recommend to the judge to show leniency while sentencing Headley.
Stating that Headley might skirt death penalty in the light of his cooperation with the FBI authorities, Assistant US Attorney Victoria Peters was quoted as saying that when Headley is sentenced by Judge Leinenweber, the government would also recommend that the judge depart downward from the sentencing guideline range that gives Headley life in prison.
“During the first two weeks that he spent in custody, before he even got a lawyer, David Headley was providing valuable information about terrorists who are of interest not only to the United States but to other governments as well, for very good reasons,” Attorney Peters said in her closing arguments during the trial of the Mumbai attack co-accused Tahawwur Rana in a Chicago court.
“Headley mapped out the hierarchy of Lashkar, told the FBI who is in charge, who does what. Zaki(-ur Rehman Lakhvi) is the leader of the military wing. He (Headley) is, sitting with the FBI, giving up the organisational structure of Lashkar-e-Taiba , an organisation that is designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organisation,” Peters pointed out.
“He is sitting with the FBI listing out 34 targets that he believes are still on the radar screen for the Pakistani terrorist organisations,” the US attorney said adding that Headley’s information had value beyond intelligence value.
“The information provided by Headley had value not just for us, the United States, but for governments around the world. And don’t forget that Headley’s information had value beyond intelligence value,” she said, arguing that this is the reason why the US entered into a guilty plea agreement with the main accused of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
“The plea agreement recognises the value of information that David Headley provided beginning on October 3rd of 2009 when he was arrested,” she said. India is set to be disappointed once again as the US attorneys pitch for diluted sentence for Headley in exchange for the information he has provided on LeT and its operations. Economic Times