Headley financed LeT in Pakistani currency
Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Wednesday admitted to financing terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to the tune of around 6-7 million Pakistani rupees.
“I have never received any money from the LeT. I gave (them) funds from myself,” Headley revealed during his cross-examination before Special Court Additional Sessions Judge G.A. Sanap.
His replies came during the cross-examination conducted by lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan, the defence counsel for Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is facing trial in the 26/11 case.
When specifically queried by Khan, Headley said: “I have donated around (Pakistani) Rs.60 to 70 lakh. It was in different times — the last time was in 2010.”
To a question about the source of his funds, Headley said it was the returns on his investments in the few shops that he purchased in the UAE, property trading in Pakistan and his business in New York.
On Khan’s persistent questions about the funds received from the LeT and out of drug smuggling, Headley became irritated and countered by saying that the lawyer was repeatedly asking him the same thing, and switched over from English to Urdu and Hindi to convey the same.
At one point, seeing Khan smile, Headley said: “Your client’s life relies on this case. You should be serious about it. Don’t joke.”
Khan objected to this and Special Judge Sanap also reprimanded Headley.
Headley also admitted that he was arrested in 1988 and 1998 in the US on charges of drug smuggling and had visited Pakistan once between the arrests.
Earlier, he claimed that his associate Tahawwur Rana was opposed to his (Headley’s) links with the LeT.
He said Pakistani national Rana — who ran an immigration consultancy in Chicago — had knowledge that he worked as an operative of the LeT.
“Rana was aware of my association with the LeT and I informed him about the training imparted to me by LeT operatives. I also told Rana that I was spying for LeT. That must be around 4-5 months before the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks,” Headley told Khan.
“Rana had objected to my association with LeT. He asked me to stop using his office in Mumbai. I conceded to his objections and took steps to close down the office in July 2008,” Headley added.
However, Headley declined to answer questions about his wife Shazia, with whom he continues to be legally wedded.
“She never visited India. I had informed her about my association with the LeT. Originally, she is from Pakistan, I don’t want to disclose Shazia’s present location… I will not answer any questions about her,” he made it clear to Khan.
On her reaction to his disclosures, Headley said he did not want to speak about it.
“It (reaction) is between me and her… It’s our personal relation and don’t want to disclose whether she objected or not or what she said,” Headley said, adding that she was aware of his plans to change his name from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley.
When Khan persisted on questions about Shazia, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam objected and pointed out that under the Indian Evidence Act Section 122, the communication between husband and wife was a privileged one and need not be disclosed.
Headley’s cross-examination, which was due to start on Tuesday, was taken up on Wednesday after his week-long deposition was conducted in February.