26/11: David Headley sentenced for 35 yrs

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 18:44 hrs

David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani American who has admitted to helping plot the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that killed more than 160 people, was sentenced for 35 years in jail by a US court here on Thursday.

He was sentenced in Chicago federal court to 35 years in prison, reports said. Six Americans were also killed on the coordinated attacks in Mumbai now infamously referred to as 26/11 since it had began on the night of Nov 26 in 2008.

US federal prosecutors had sought a 30-35 jail term for the 52-year-old Headley, keeping in view his cooperation with the investigation.

Gary Shapiro, the acting US Attorney in Chicago said on Tuesday that the 30-35 year sentence recommended by the prosecution for Headley was fair.

"While his criminal conduct was deplorable, the uniquely significant cooperation which he provided to the government´s efforts to combat terrorism supports the government´s recommendations," reports quoted him as saying in a memo to the federal court on Tuesday.

Headley has been convicted of colluding with terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al-Qaeda.

On Wednesday, India´s foreign minister Salman Khurshid expressed disappointment at America´s refusal to extradite Headley to India.

"We understand that they have a legal structure which has to be adhered to. We were anxious and we were wishing that the trial takes place here but it has taken place there (in US)," Khurshid said.

The Pakistani terrorists who came by sea route had massacred people wantonly in Mumbai attacking luxury hotels, railways stations, hospitals and a Jewish centre till nine of the ten gunmen were killed by the Indian commandoes and cops after battling for more than two days of the siege by the gunmen.

The lone surviving gunman in the attack , Ajmal Kasab, was hanged by India last year.

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